In 2020, the share of renewable energy costing less than the most competitive fossil fuel doubled, reaching 62% or 162GW of total renewable power generation, reveals a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Protesters in Manila, the Philippines, during a demonstration to denounce coal and fossil fuel industries, September 2018. (Photo by Noel Celis/AFP).

New renewables projects from 2020 will save emerging economies $156bn (€131.61bn) over their lifespan as clean energy technologies increasingly undercut the operational costs of existing coal plants, the report states.

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The analysis shows that the cost of concentrating solar power fell by 16% in 2020, while the cost of onshore and offshore wind fell by 13% and 9%, respectively. The cost of solar PV declined by 7%.

Since 2010, the 534GW of renewable capacity added in emerging economies at lower costs than the cheapest coal option has reduced electricity costs by around $32bn every year.

Renewables present emerging economies tied to coal with an economically attractive phase-out agenda enabling the transition to a net-zero economy without compromising energy security, the report concludes.