Wind, solar costs fall by 10% in 2019

3rd November 2020 | Commercial Energy

Wind and solar costs declined by more than 10% in 2019, according to Capgemini’s latest World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) report. The WEMO report observed “consistently lower costs being recorded month after month”. Lithium ion batteries used in stationary storage and electric vehicle markets decreased by 19% in 2019, WEMO found with 115 lithium ion battery megafactory projects having been announced, with 88 of these based in China.

Other “key observations” of the 2020 edition of the WEMO report include the significant drop in consumption due to Covid-19, which has led to the largest reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since World War 2, though long-erm climate change goals are still very challenging. Emissions are expected to decrease by an estimated 7-8% in 2020, as a result of mobility restrictions and a sharp industrial slowdown.

Solar costs

With the worldwide economic growth slowdown in 2019, GDP growth for G20 countries was 0.8 percentage points below the previous year and energy demand growth slowed down with consumption increasing by just 0.7%, as compared with 2.2% in 2018. While global emissions continued to increase 0.6% in 2019 (highest level ever), those in the energy sector specifically fell 0.4% due to a combination of factors. These include a shift from coal to gas, renewables growth and energy efficiency improvements.

Capgemini energy and utilities senior advisor Colette Lewiner said, “This 2020 emissions decrease is linked to the lock-down period and remaining mobility restrictions. “Emissions will likely rise again as the world recovers from the pandemic. By way of illustration, it would take a similar restriction, every year for the next 10 years, to get on the right environmental trajectory, which is of course unviable. Profound changes are needed to reach climate change objectives.”

The WEMO report pointed that with the increasing share of intermittent renewables generation (wind and solar power), grid balancing is more difficult, and security of supply could be endangered.

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