Wind, solar and other renewable energy mix are now significantly beating fossil fuels in the race for the world’s cheapest sources of power, a new study shows.
Almost two-thirds, about 62 per cent, of wind, solar and other renewable energy projects built globally last year will generate cheaper electricity than the cheapest new coal plants, findings from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) notes.
Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2020 report also found that costs for renewable technologies are falling “significantly” year-on-year.
“Today, we are seeing renewables are the cheapest source of power,” said Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s director-general.
Cheaper renewables give developed and developing countries a compelling reason to phase out coal while meeting growing energy demands, saving costs and adding jobs, IRENA said.
In Kenya, renewables is a fast-growing investment sector with full support from multilateral and commercial banks as well as equity capital.
The country ranks 40 globally in EY’s renewable energy country attractiveness index, which was issued in November 2019.
According to the IRENA, retiring costly coal plants would also stop the emission of about three gigatonnes of carbon dioxide gas a year.
Approximately 20 per cent reduction in emissions is needed by 2030 to avert climate catastrophe.
Emerging economies will save up to $156 billion over the lifespan of the renewable projects added in 2020 alone, the agency added.
The report also found a 16 per cent in the cost of concentrating solar-thermal power technology. While the cost of onshore wind projects fell by 13 per cent, and offshore wind projects by 9 per cent.
For solar photovoltaics, the projects costs fell by 7 per cent.