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Technology Costs

Renewable energy technologies and fuels offer tremendous opportunities to meet economic, social, environmental and development goals. They are also now THE economic solution for the electrification of 1.3 billion people without access to electricity. These pages provide you with a wide range of resources about the costs and performance of these technologies.

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

The technologies covered to date by the IRENA costing team include power generation technologies - biomass, concentrating solar power, hydropower, solar photovoltaics and wind - and transport technologies - biodiesel, bioethanol, biomethane, electric vehicles and plug in hybrids electric vehicles.

Information on the costs of renewables in stationary applications will be available in the near future.

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.