Solar cheapest in Germany

GERMANY: A new report by the Fraunhofer research insitute has found price of renewable power in Germany is lower than most fossil-fuel generation.

Solar (yellow) and wind (blue) can be the cheapest power in Germany, depending on technology and location
Solar (yellow) and wind (blue) can be the cheapest power in Germany, depending on technology and location

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In its fourth edition of the cost analysis, Fraunhofer's Institute for Solar Energy Systems, found that depending on the plant type, solar power in Germany ranges between €0.0371/kWh and €0.1154/kWh.

The lowest price in the range is the cheapest of any other type of electricity generation.

Onshore wind power, meanwhile, is not as low as solar's lowest price but has a smaller range. Its production costs in Germany range between €0.0399/kWh and €0.0823/kWh, Fraunhofer said.

Offshore wind is slightly more costly due to higher operating costs. It ranges between €0.0749/kWh to €0.1379/kWh, the institute said.

"The production costs for electricity from renewable energies are continuously decreasing and are no longer an obstacle to CO2-free power generation," said project manager Christoph Kost.

"Newly built photovoltaic systems and onshore wind turbines in favourable locations are already cheaper than fossil power plants, and this trend will increase significantly by 2035," Kost added.

Conventional power plants in Germany are operating at a higher cost. New lignite plants can cost between €0.0459/kWh and €0.798/kWH.

Hard coal (€0.0627/kWh-€0.0986/kWh), gas and steam turbines (€0.0778/kWh-€0.0996/kWh), and gas-only fired plants (€0.1103/kWh-€0.2194/kWh) all have higher costs than renewables, Fraunhofer's analysis showed.

By 2035, Fraunhofer expects offshore wind's costs in Germany to fall to the equivalent of today's solar prices, between €0.0349/kWh and €0.1007/kWh.

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