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The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar has been falling for several years. Now, a new report provides in detail the contrasting costs for different power generation technologies around the world and shows that renewable sources can produce electricity at close to or even below the cost of new fossil fuel-based power stations.

The report, a joint project by the International Energy Agency and the Nuclear Energy Agency, calculates the cost of producing electricity from different types of new power plants. Compared with the previous edition published five years ago, Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2015 Edition details a significant drop in the price of solar and wind generation costs. No single technology proves the cheapest form of electricity generation under all circumstances. While the costs of renewable technologies in some higher priced markets can be well above that of coal- or gas-fired plants, the report details how utility-scale solar PV and especially onshore wind power are comparable and often lower in countries featuring plentiful resources and appropriate market and regulatory frameworks. Further, while more significant regional variations remain than for baseload technologies, variable renewable technology costs continue to converge towards international benchmarks at the lower end of their cost range.

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