Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014

The competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies continued improving in 2013 and 2014, reaching historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all provide electricity competitively against fossil fuel-fired power generation. Solar photovoltaic (PV) power has also become increasingly competitive, with its levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) at utility scale falling by half in four years.


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Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014 aims to reduced uncertainty about the true costs of renewable power generation technologies, so that governments can be more ambitious and efficient in their policy support for renewables. As this comprehensive report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) underlines, perceptions that such technologies are expensive or uncompetitive are outdated, at best.

Full report

Executive Summary

The report follows from IRENA’s first major costing study, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2012.

For more of IRENA’s ongoing renewable energy cost analysis, see


Energy-saving buildings offer banks new financial products

Nearly half of the world’s energy consumption is a result of cooling, heating and ventilating buildings, while construction work is responsible for more than half of the globe’s resources consumption. Addressing these significant levels of consumption is becoming increasingly urgent with greenhouse gas emissions expected to double by 2030, with emerging markets among key contributors to this increase.

The World Bank’s IFC is providing $2 billion for sustainable energy project globally

To underline the dramatic increases in power consumption among developing countries, Vietnam posted a four-fold increase in just a decade to 2008 according to World Bank data and now faces significant power shortage issues. Construction is among the most energy-intensive industries, accounting for 36 per cent of the nation’s total annual energy consumption. Therefore, the sector’s improved energy efficiency is vital to helping energy saving in Vietnam. International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is helping the country tap this huge potential by developing energy efficient, green buildings. To achieve this, it is supporting the Ministry of Construction to enhance the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Code for Buildings, which has been revised to become more technically and economically feasible to implement. The Code is expected to save 15 per cent of energy consumption on every floor square metre.

“Financing energy efficiency and green buildings is not only vital for a sustainable future, but also a smart business approach,” said IFC’s Asia head of Climate Finance William Trant Beloe.

“This is a sustainable development trend and banks that develop this financial product will have an opportunity to access a new market with less risk, while promoting themselves as banks with high levels of social responsibility with green financing programs,” he told a “Energy Efficient Buildings and Green Buildings Financing” workshop, co-organised by IFC and the Vietnam Banking Association in Hanoi, on December 9, 2014.

IFC’s Sustainable Energy Financing (SEF) programme has provided $2 billion in funding for sustainable energy projects globally through financial institutions In Vietnam, Techcombank and Vietinbank have committed $63 million for energy efficiency projects. These projects together have saved 259,512 megawatt hours and avoided GHG emissions by 130,377 tonnes of CO2 annually. It is expected to have other banks to join the programme.

IFC has also developed the EDGE Resources Efficiency Building Certification system, a tool to enable developers to save energy, water and resources in construction materials production, thus reducing GHG emissions. This tool is designed for emerging markets to develop different technical solutions for higher energy efficiency with respective estimated investment costs and savings for developers to choose the appropriate “green” levels for their projects.

Trant Beloe said IFC provides long-term credit lines to local banks that banks use to lend green building developers. IFC supports the design of appropriate financial products for each of its partner banks and technical assistance to partner banks to develop sustainable energy financing products encompassing energy efficiency, cleaner production in industries and energy efficient green buildings. This advisory programme includes capacity building for banks in sustainable energy financing and supports partner banks to participate in developing a sustainable energy finance market in Vietnam including green building finance. With EDGE, bank staff can also perform loan valuations for green homes more efficiently and have a better definition of green buildings as an “asset class”.

IFC is also active in training bank staff in energy efficient or green building financing as well as heightening developers and home buyer awareness of green financing options, providing an e-tool for green buildings and organizing workshops and forums to highlight energy efficiency opportunities to consolidate and fully tap the green building market’s rich potential in Vietnam.


Vietnam needs $30 billion for green growth strategy to 2020

Vietnam needs up to $30 billion to carry out its Green Growth Strategy from now to 2020, of which 70% will not come from the State budget.

Green Growth

The money will be used to perform 12 tasks focusing on 66 major activities related to institutions, zone planning, technology transfer, and business opportunities for business development and finance.

Vietnam will have to spend 2-6% of its GDP to readdress damages caused by climate change, according to Pham Hoang Mai from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s.

Mai said Vietnam currently lacks policies to mobilize financial resources, especially from the International Climate Funds, while facing difficulties in attracting foreign and domestic investments.

The newly-promulgated National Green Growth Strategy and the National Action Plan on Green Growth for the period 2014-2020 are considered policies of utmost importance to the promotion of sustainable development in Vietnam, notably sustainable economic development as well as climate change adaptation, Mai noted.

Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong attributed these results to the close and effective cooperation between the Vietnamese and Korean governments through the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) KOICA for the MoIT in realizing these projects.

Dr. Taeho Ro, Director General of Global Strategy Centre, of the Korea Environment Institute, said Vietnam is trying to apply green-growth strategies and experience and knowledge from a number of countries to deal with social changes and environmental diversity as a result of rapid industrialization and economic development.

He suggested that groups increase support for Vietnam in developing legal and institutional foundations in order to help protect the environment and stimulate socio-economic development.

Vietnam to receive ODA of US$3.9 million for green growth

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) has agreed to provide US$3.9 million of ODA for sustainable green growth projects.

The balance of the funding for the US$4.128 million projects to be implemented in Hanoi and surrounding provinces will be sourced from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) counterpart funds.

The projects are aimed at enhancing technical capacity for the MPI, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and other provinces to integrate the contents of green growth into the local budget and spending plans.

They are also expected to raise businesses and policy makers’ awareness about green growth and sustainable development, analysis on financial and investment policies, barriers, and support of policy dialogues.

The Prime Minister has asked the MPI to work with relevant agencies and the UNDP office in Vietnam to devise an annual plan to implement the projects in compliance with existing regulations and insure the ODA is used effectively.