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Costing Analysis at IRENA

Bill Timmerman 6A Renewable energy has entered into a virtuous cycle of falling costs, increasing deployment, and accelerated technological progress. The public debate around renewable energy, however, continues to suffer from an outdated perception that renewable energy is not competitive, forming a significant and unnecessary barrier to its deployment.  IRENA’s cost analysis programme is designed to improve the publicly available analysis and data on costs to allow policy makers and investors to make robust decisions about the role of renewables. By improving the quality of renewable cost data and its dissemination, IRENA is working hard to accelerate the deployment of renewables by providing up-to-date information on renewable energy technologies, their costs and cost-reduction potential.

IRENA's goal is to become THE source for renewable cost data. Our aim is to provide you with easily accessible information in a variety of formats that meet your needs for information about renewable energy technology costs and performance.
IRENA’s costing work is built around a unique, world-class resource, the IRENA Renewable Cost Database. The IRENA Renewable Cost Database contains data from over 9,000 utility-scale renewable energy projects and is being continuously expanded through IRENA’s Renewable Costing Alliance, an alliance of companies, industry association, governments and researchers that share, confidentially, their data for real-world renewable energy projects, helping to build further on IRENA’s costing work to date.

For more information and how to join go to IRENA RENEWABLE COSTING ALLIANCE

Cost by Technology and Sector

In order to facilitate and streamline your access to IRENA's information and analysis of the costs of renewables, we have divided costing information by technology and sector. The technology pages include a brief overview of the technology and sector, a list of relevant publications, presentations and charts for your use.

Unless otherwise noted, material on this website may be used freely, shared or reprinted, so long as IRENA is acknowledged as the source.

Technologies covered include:

Power Generation:

Biomass | Concentrating Solar Power | GeothermalHydropower | Photovoltaics | Wind


Biodiesel | Bioethanol | Biomethane | Electric Vehicles | Plug in Hybrids

Stationary Applications:

Analysis has begun and this data will be available in the near future.


IRENA’s costing team produces a number of publications on today’s technology costs and performance, as well as future cost trends. IRENA’s most recent costing publication, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014, analyzed the costs and performance of renewable power generation technologies and found an increased competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies in the last years.

Previous costing analyses looked at the cost and performance of renewable technologies and fuels for transportation. Released in July 2013 Road Transport: The Cost of Renewable Solutions found an increasingly positive outlook for the use of renewable energy in road transport by 2020 and beyond. Costing publications cover power generation technologies and in the future, stationary applications.

For a full list of costing publications and free downloads of the full reports and executive summaries click here.

Presentations, Webinars and Charts

IRENA strives to make available all of its relevant analysis and ensure it is disseminated as widely as possible to educate stakeholders about the true costs of renewables and their investment potential. With this goal in mind, the costing team is pleased to share our costing presentations, webinars and charts with you. You are free to use these resources in your work and presentations subject to our standard terms of use.


The costing team organises several events per year on issues related to the cost and performance of renewable energy technologies, including workshops, webinars and publication releases.

For a list of upcoming events and the events archive (that includes the agenda and presentations) click here.


Advanced biofuels to be competitive with fossil fuels by 2020.       Solar PV module prices of around USD 0.75/Watt makes PV the economic solution for 1.3 billion people.       Electric vehicle battery packs to fall 40% to 55% by 2020 to cost USD 300-400/kWh in 2020.       Some of today's first-of-a-kind commercial plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles are economic today.       Road transport accounted for 76% of total transport demand in 2010.       Biodiesel consumption grew 42% per year between 2000-2010.       Feedstock costs account for 60-80% of total conventional ethanol production costs.       The levelised cost of electricity of wind, solar PV, CSP and biomass is declining.       Electricity from hydropower, geothermal and biomass where good resources remain are the cheapest way to generate electricity.       Renewables are increasingly the most economic solution for new grid connected capacity.       Wind turbine prices have been declining since 2009.       Renewables are becoming the economic choice for off-grid and mini-grids.       Wind turbine prices in China in 2012 were USD 620/kW.       The installed cost of wind is typically lower than coal-fired power plants in OECD countries.