Renewables to compete with coal in Asia-Pacific by 2027

Wind and solar PV costs across Asia-Pacific will be on par with coal-fired power by 2027, increasing competition between renewables and coal, according to new research.

Asia Pacific’s cheapest renewables can be found in India, Wood Mackenzie found (pic credit: Inox)
Asia Pacific’s cheapest renewables can be found in India, Wood Mackenzie found (pic credit: Inox)

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The average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of wind and solar is currently 29% higher than that of coal-fired power in the region, analysts at Wood Mackenzie found.

They expect this premium to disappear by 2027, and renewables to be about 17% cheaper than coal-fired power across Asia-Pacific by 2030.

By 2030, the analysts expect an average LCOE of onshore wind in Asia-Pacific of $45/MWh – down from $72/MWh in 2019. The 2030 cost of wind across the region compares to $46/MWh for solar PV and $53/MWh for coal.

Coal-fired power will still be cheaper in Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan by this date, however.

India

Asia-Pacific’s cheapest renewables can be found in India, according to Wood Mackenzie, with the LCOE of solar PV falling to $38/MWh this year — 14% cheaper than that of coal-fired power.

Wood Mackenzie research director Alex Whitworth explained "high-quality solar resources, market scale and competition" had helped push solar costs down to half the level seen in many other countries in the region.

By comparison, onshore wind in India currently costs $49/MWh, Wood Mackenzie added.

Australia

The second cheapest renewables in the region are in Australia, Wood Mackenzie added, with the LCOE of solar expected to fall to $48/MWh in 2020 — undercutting all fossil-fuel competitors.

Wind power is forecast to remain more expensive, however - $71/MWh, above $51/MWh for coal.

Whitworth added that maintaining grid stability and reducing curtailment of intermittent generation is a "recurring challenge" in Australia, but further deployment of energy storage could help to balance power supply and demand.

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