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IRENA IRENA
Power Generation
Overview

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. 

Renewable power generation technologies account for almost half of new electricity capacity installed. In 2012 additions included 45 GW of new wind power capacity, 31 GW of solar photovoltaic (PV), 25 GW of hydropower, 6 GW of biomass, 1 GW of concentrating solar power (CSP) and 0.3 GW of geothermal power.

The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) is declining for wind, solar PV, CSP and some biomass technologies, while hydropower and geothermal electricity produced at good sites are still the cheapest way to generate electricity. 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.

For more details on power generation developments, and technology specific costs, performance and future trends, click on the desired link below or to your right.

Publication
Topics
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.