Energy Blue Print
Scenario for a future energy supply

Moving from principles to action for energy supply that mitigates against climate change requires a long-term perspective. Energy infrastructure takes time to build up; new energy technologies take time to develop. Policy shifts often also need many years to take effect. In most world regions the transformation from fossil to renewable energies will require additional investment and higher supply costs over about twenty years.

summary of renewable energy cost development

Figure 4.2 summarises the cost trends for renewable power technologies derived from the respective learning curves. It is important to note that the expected cost reduction is not a function of time, but of cumulative capacity (production of units), so dynamic market developments are required. Most of the technologies will be able to reduce their specific investment costs to between 30% and 60% of current levels once they have achieved full maturity (after 2040).

Reduced investment costs for renewable energy technologies lead directly to reduced electricity generation costs, as shown in Figure 4.3. Generation costs in 2009 were around $ 8 to 35 cents/kWh for the most important technologies, with the exception of photovoltaic. In the long term, costs are expected to converge at around $ 6 to 12 cents/kWh (examples for OECD Europe). These estimates depend on site-specific conditions such as the local wind regime or solar irradiation, the availability of biomass at reasonable prices or the credit granted for heat supply in the case of combined heat and power generation.