In 2021, the global levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for photovoltaics and onshore wind energy decreased significantly, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

The LCOE of new large-scale solar PV projects fell by 13% year-on-year to $ 0.048 / kWh. For a concentrated solar power (CSP) solar power plant, the cost increased by 7% year-on-year to $ 0.114 / kWh – but only one such project was launched in 2021.

IRENA: Change in global weighted levelised cost of electricity by technology, 2020-2021

For new onshore wind projects, LCOE fell by 15% yoy to $ 0.033 / kWh, while the cost of new offshore wind projects fell by 13% to $ 0.075 / kWh.

As IRENA emphasizes, in 2010-2021 there has been a huge improvement in the competitiveness of renewable energy sources. This is best seen in solar energy: the global levelized  cost of electricity for newly commissioned large-scale PV projects fell by 88% during this period, while the onshore wind LCOE fell by 68%, CSP by 68% and offshore wind by 60%.

According to the Agency, cheaper renewable energy technologies with the simultaneous growing prices of fossil fuels allowed to save about USD 55 billion in global costs of energy generation in 2022 in 2021. In the period from January to May 2022, the production of solar and wind energy helped to save Europe fossil fuel imports for around US $ 50 billion.

The report is available HERE