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Solar power is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity

Lucas Mearian | Dec. 20, 2016
Solar energy in some emerging markets is now half the price of coal-fired power and cheaper even than wind-driven projects

"Solar and onshore wind have historically accounted for the majority of clean energy investment globally and their shares have grown substantially in recent years. Together, these technologies accounted for 65% of new clean energy investment in 2011. By 2015, that had risen to 94%," BNEF said.

Solar saw the largest investment growth, from 8% in 2011 to just over 46% in 2015, the report said.

Throughout emerging markets, when private energy companies competed for massive contracts to provide electricity, new records were set for cheap solar power.

In January, for example, one massive contract in India set the per megawatt-hour price in India at $64. In August, another utility contract set the price at $29.10 per megawatt hour in Chile, according to BNEF.

"That's record-cheap electricity -- roughly half the price of competing coal power," BNEF stated in a statement.

"Renewables are robustly entering the era of undercutting" fossil fuel prices, BNEF chairman Michael Liebreich said in a note to clients this week.


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