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[LINK] “Solar Could Beat Coal to Become the Cheapest Power on Earth”

Bloomberg’s Jessica Shankleman and Chris Martin report on how technological and economic progress is set to make solar energy the most inexpensive source of electricity around.

In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power. Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

Since 2009, solar prices are down 62 percent, with every part of the supply chain trimming costs. That’s help cut risk premiums on bank loans, and pushed manufacturing capacity to record levels. By 2025, solar may be cheaper than using coal on average globally, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

“These are game-changing numbers, and it’s becoming normal in more and more markets,” said Adnan Amin, International Renewable Energy Agency ’s director general, an Abu Dhabi-based intergovernmental group. “Every time you double capacity, you reduce the price by 20 percent.”

Better technology has been key in boosting the industry, from the use of diamond-wire saws that more efficiently cut wafers to better cells that provide more spark from the same amount of sun. It’s also driven by economies of scale and manufacturing experience since the solar boom started more than a decade ago, giving the industry an increasing edge in the competition with fossil fuels.


Written by Randy McDonald

January 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

One Response

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  1. How many Bloomberg reporters does it take to slather yet another coat of greenwash onto the financial shell game that is the solar power industry. Two, at least.

    Three cents per kWh, huh. And what is the cost of the power that is required between six pm and seven am, when the sun is below the horizon?

    It’s this kind of tough-minded hard-hitting reporting that brought us sleepwalking into the mortgage-backed derivative crisis in 2008.

    Steve Aplin

    January 6, 2017 at 10:12 am

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