The rapid deployment of renewable power generation technologies, working in combination with high learning rates, have pushed costs down. This trend is projected to continue, making renewables increasingly competitive with fossil fuels in countries across the world, and the least-cost option in a growing number of markets.
The year 2013 was a landmark year for renewables. Overall capacity additions reached a new record high of more than 120 GW, with new solar deployment exceeding wind for the first time. In 2013 additions included, 38 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV), 35 GW of new wind power capacity, 34 GW of hydropower, 6 GW of biomass, 1 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) and 0.4 GW of geothermal power.
The cost competitiveness of renewable power has reached historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropwer, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation. Most impressively, the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of solar PV has halved between 2010 and 2014 so that solar photovoltaics (PV) is also increasingly competitive at the utility scale. Further equipment cost reductions can be expected to 2020, which will lower the weighted average LCOE of renewables.
As a result, renewable technologies are now the most economical solution for new capacity in a growing number of countries and regions and are typically the most economic solution for new grid-connected capacity where good resources are available.
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