29 December 2015 | Article
Renewable energy has entered a virtuous cycle of falling costs, increasing deployment and accelerated technological progress. Solar PV module prices have fallen by around 80% since the end of 2009, while wind turbine prices have fallen by 30–40%. The public debate around renewable energy, however, continues to suffer from an outdated perception that renewable energy is not competitive, forming a significant and unnecessary barrier to its deployment. IRENA’s cost analysis programme is designed to improve publicly available analysis and data on costs to allow policy makers and investors to make robust decisions about the role of renewables. The IRENA Renewable Cost Database contains 15,000 utility-scale renewable power generation projects and 5,600 PPA and tender results that provide new insights into trends in the costs and performance of renewables. The IRENA Renewable Costing Alliance (an alliance of companies, industry associations, governments and researchers) is helping to expand the database by sharing, confidentially, their data for real-world renewable energy projects.
Data and charts
By improving the quality of renewable cost data and analysis in the public domain, IRENA is working hard to provide up-to-date information on renewable energy technologies, their costs and cost-reduction potential to all stakeholders.