A report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) found that worldwide, solar photovoltaics (PV) have fallen 82% over the period 2010-2019, the sharpest cost decline of any electricity technology.   The cost fall has allowed the subsidy-free UK solar energy market to emerge, with many solar sites progressing across the UK.

In addition to the cost falls for solar PV, IRENA reported large cost declines in concentrating solar power (47%), onshore wind (40%) and offshore wind (29%). 

We have previously blogged about how climate investments should be used to support economic recovery and jobs following the pandemic and the falling cost of these green technologies further demonstrates that they would be a good investment. The director-general of IRENA said that as a result of the cost declines:

Renewable Energy is increasingly the cheapest source of new electricity, offering tremendous potential to stimulate the global economy and get people back to work.”

The cost falls also show how effective investment into solar and wind over the last decade has been. IRENA reported that in 2010  a solar PV site with 213kW capacity would have cost £794,990 to develop whereas in 2019 for the same amount of money a site with 1,005kW capacity could be developed. Hopefully, investment into other renewable energy sources such as hydrogen power can lead to similar results over the next decade.