Renewables Saving Electricity Sector Billions

New research published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found that the fossil fuel price crisis has accelerated the competitiveness of renewable power. Eighty-six percent (187 gigawatts) of newly commissioned renewable capacity in 2022 had lower costs than fossil fuel-fired electricity, the report noted, adding that new renewables capacity added between 2000-22 have reduced the electricity sector fuel bill by at least US$520 billion. For the last 13-15 years, renewable power generation costs from solar and wind power has been falling, according to the report, with the global weighted average cost of electricity from solar photovoltaics decreasing by 89% to a third less (US$0.049/kWh) than the cheapest fossil fuel globally. Onshore wind decreased by 69% in 2022, to slightly less than half (US$0.033/kWh) the cost of the cheapest fossil fuel-fired option that year. Francesco La Camera, IRENA’s Director-General, said: “IRENA sees 2022 as a veritable turning point in the deployment for renewables as its cost-competitiveness has never been greater, despite the lingering commodity and equipment cost inflation around the world. Today, the business case for renewables is compelling, but the world must add 1,000 GW of renewable power annually on average every year until 2030 to keep 1.5°C within reach, more than three times 2022 levels. There is no time for a new energy system to evolve gradually, as was the case for fossil fuels.” 

 

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