Press Release

Cheap Renewables Now Unstoppable

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For the first time, solar photovoltaic power and onshore wind are now the most cost-effective power generating technologies for new projects around much of the globe, according to Energy Intelligence's latest Energy Cost Report. New regional data on the cost of electricity generation, known as the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) shows renewable energy investment costs to be lower than ever, while natural gas prices have seen an uptick in the last couple years.

The Energy Intelligence Cost Report, published in EI New Energy, provides in-depth global analysis of cost trends among competing forms of power generation, including the falling cost of renewable energy. The data is broken down into five regions covering about three-quarters of the world's power generation and is based on Energy Intelligence's proprietary levelized cost of energy model.

Key takeaways include:

  • Combined-cycle natural gas turbines were the cheapest technology almost everywhere just last year, but this is no longer the case. While solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind investment costs have continued to fall, average natural gas prices have increased by 35% in Europe and the Mideast in two years, and by 30% in developing Asia.  
  • The only exception is the US, where there is plenty of cheap shale gas, but even there, solar photovoltaics and onshore wind are catching up rapidly and are now second and third in the ranking of most competitive technologies for new power projects.
  • Capital costs for renewables are falling. Those of solar PV projects have crumbled by almost 65% since the Energy Intelligence cost report was first published seven years ago, and by 16% since last year. At $1,050 per kilowatt on average in Europe and the US, it is now almost as cheap as combined-cycle gas turbines, which average $1,010/kW.
  • Offshore wind is still more expensive than onshore wind or solar PV, but the costs here are falling rapidly. While offshore wind projects awarded in northern Europe at well below $100/MWh looked exceptional just a couple years ago, Energy Intelligence's average offshore wind LCOE is rapidly approaching that level.
  • Concentrated solar power (CSP), which until recently was considered too expensive to compete with conventional technologies, also seems to have entered a virtuous circle of growing demand and falling costs with recent projects awarded at around $70/MWh, particularly in the Mideast.

Download your complimentary copy of the findings here:

EI New Energy, a weekly publication, is a concise 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, EI New Energy’s publisher, is the leading independent provider of objective insights on the global energy industry.


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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