The transition to a low-carbon energy system is a few steps closer after two technologies that were immature and hugely expensive only a few years ago saw spectacular gains in cost-competitiveness in the last year.
New research from Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) shows that the cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by 35% over the past year to $187/MWh, while the cost of offshore wind is almost a quarter (24%) lower than this time 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, the costs of installing the more established technologies of onshore wind and photovoltaic (PV) solar also continued to fall. The levelized cost of energy for onshore wind projects starting construction at the start of this year was $50/MWh, 10% lower than a year ago, while solar projects are 18% cheaper at 57/MWh.
Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF, commented: “Looking back over this decade, there have been staggering improvements in the cost-competitiveness of these low-carbon options, thanks to technology innovation, economies of scale, stiff price competition and manufacturing experience.
“Our analysis shows that the LCOE per megawatt-hour for onshore wind, solar PV and offshore wind have fallen by 49%, 84% and 56% respectively since 2010 . That for lithium-ion battery storage has dropped by 76% since 2012, based on recent project costs and historical battery pack prices.”
Read more: Forbes