To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 17 January 2017 to Question 61007, what the evidential basis is for the conclusion that there has been a rapid reduction in the costs of renewable technologies, especially solar, since 2015; and what the current presumed levelised costs of electricity generation from (a) gas, (b) coal, (c) solar, (d) onshore wind and (e) offshore wind on which her Department's decisions on support for energy projects are currently based are in each of the countries in which such energy projects have been approved.
There is clear evidence that the price of renewables, especially solar, generation is falling rapidly. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) study from June 2016 shows that solar generation prices have fallen by 47% over five years. A World Bank-led auction for utility-scale solar generation in Zambia in mid-2016 received winning prices of US$6c-8c/kWh. This is in many cases comparable with gas-fired power generation.
The levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) from different sources varies significantly by country and over time. When deciding how to support partner governments’ energy strategies we look at publicly available estimates of LCOEs for different technologies but also consider environmental costs.