The International Monetary Fund’s annual World Economic Outlook has a section that nicely tells the story of why wind and solar power are growing so fast in power markets.
What they found: The chart above shows calculations of levelized cost of electricity from different forms of zero-carbon power. That’s basically an all-in comparison of the costs of building, running, supplying and maintaining facilities over time.
By the numbers: “Between 2009 and 2017, prices of solar photovoltaics and onshore wind turbines fell most rapidly, dropping by 76 percent and 34 percent, respectively — making these energy sources competitive alternatives to fossil fuels and more traditional low-carbon sources,” IMF notes.
- The data is in a wider section about the prices of equipment and machinery.
The big picture: Today renewables account for about 25% of global power generation, according to IEA.
- Hydropower has the largest share, but cost declines are helping wind and solar gain ground, with solar overtaking hydro in about a decade in their central case.