With the costs of creating electricity from solar power and wind continuing to fall, electricity from renewable energy will soon be “consistently cheaper” than electricity from fossil fuels, according to the head of the world’s renewable energy agency. By 2020, most wind and solar power technology now being commercially used will be priced in the same range as fossil fuels, “with most at the lower end or even undercutting fossil fuels”, said Adnan Amin, the director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
That is particularly good news for communities in parts of Africa, Asia and other parts of the world that remain unconnected to power grids and without access to modern energy, experts said. Cheaper prices for improved technology, combined with new financial arrangements to help put it in place, should lead to more unconnected communities getting access to clean power, according to energy access body Power for All.
“The falling cost of solar and an expected decline in (costs of renewable energy) storage are providing a major boost to delivering electricity and related services to communities without access to energy,” William Brent, a spokesman for the organization, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“But it’s not just a question of solar technology, which has achieved full commercial viability and is now cheaper than coal in many countries. Many companies are also pioneering delivery methods using innovative business and financial models, as well as through advances in super-efficient appliances,” he added.