Prices for lithium-ion battery storage as well as offshore wind have fallen more sharply than other clean generation technologies in the past year, according to BloombergNEF (BNEF).
The company’s latest analysis shows the benchmark levelised cost of electricity (LCoE) for lithium ion batteries has fallen 35% to $187 per megawatt-hour (MWh) since the first half of 2018.
Meanwhile the benchmark offshore wind LCoE has come down by 24%.
Auction programmes for new capacity, combined with much larger turbines, have produced sharp reductions in offshore wind’s capital costs, taking BNEF’s global benchmark for this technology below $100/MWh, compared with more than $220/MWh five years ago.
BNEF energy economics head Elena Giannakopoulou said: “The low prices promised by offshore wind tenders throughout Europe are now materialising, with several high-profile projects reaching financial close in recent months.
“Its cost decline in the last six months is the sharpest we have seen for any technology.”
Benchmark LCoE for onshore wind reached $50/MWh and for solar the figure is $57/MWh for projects starting construction in early 2019, down 10% and 18%, compared with equivalent figures of a year ago, said BNEF.
According to Giannakopoulou, a key find in the analyst company’s LCoE Update, is the cost improvements for lithium ion batteries in the first-half of 2019, opening up new opportunities for them to balance a renewables-heavy generation mix.
Batteries co-located with solar or wind projects are starting to compete, in many markets and without subsidy, with coal- and gas-fired generation for the provision of dispatchable power, according to BNEF.