Press Release

Cheap Renewables Set For Major Strides

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Solar photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind power are holding onto their position as the cheapest technology for power generation across much of the globe on a levelized cost of energy basis, finds EI New Energy’s latest Energy Cost Report, with updated forecasts out to 2050. The report, which calculates break-even prices across the lifetime of projects, is an indispensable guide to the competitive standing of various forms of power generation, particularly new investments. It includes an in-depth overview of the findings along with illustrations of the results. Key highlights include:

  • Even in the US, where cheap shale gas continues to keep combined-cycle gas turbines ahead on cost competitiveness, PV and onshore wind are catching up rapidly and are already cheaper than gas in sunny or windy locations.
  • The intermittency of wind and solar remains an issue, but serious headway is coming as battery storage costs fall. By 2050, the cost of battery storage could drop by at least 65%, according to the data. Combined with an expected fall of 60% in PV costs over the same period, stored solar electricity would displace gas before 2035 in Europe and around 2040 in the US.
  • The falling costs for wind and solar would make the Paris Agreement's global warming target not only achievable, but also cheaper than business as usual -- assuming the required investments are made.
  • Rather than boosting wind and solar, which barely need it, carbon pricing would help to permanently trigger coal-to-gas switching among existing power plants, the data shows. A chief benefit of high carbon prices, at $50-$100 per ton of carbon dioxide and above, would be to improve the economics of carbon capture and storage.
  • In offshore wind, levelized generating costs have already dropped by an impressive 40% in four years to an average $111 per megawatt hour now, down from $185/MWh in 2015. The data suggests the industry's $100/MWh target, which was considered unrealistic just a few years ago, could be reached as soon as 2023, with a big chunk of future cost savings expected to come from larger turbines.

Download your complimentary copy of the findings here:

Brought to you by Energy Intelligence, EI New Energy is a weekly source of expert-level insights and data on the global transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. With more than 60 years of expertise, Energy Intelligence is the leading provider of integrated research, information services and data analytics on the energy sector.


To discuss the Energy Intelligence New Energy Cost Report, please contact:

Philippe Roos

Senior Reporter, EI New Energy

+33 6 22 86 37 76 /

Lauren Craft

Editor, EI New Energy

+1 202 662 0728 /

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