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Is Solar Power The World’s Cheapest Energy?

For many years, the biggest cost of solar power was purchasing the technology to capture the sun’s energy.  It was a hard sell because it took a long time for corporations or individuals to recoup those costs and start benefitting from this clean energy.  A transformation is happening in global energy markets

Now, Bloomberg notes, a transformation is happening in global energy markets and Solar power, for the first time is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity.

In the past, the Middle East, for example, has had record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects.

The chart below shows the average cost of new wind and solar from 58 emerging-market economies.  While solar was bound to fall below wind eventually, given its steeper price declines, few predicted it would happen this soon.

decreasing-solar-prices

As the world hits a turning point, more countries are adding more capacity for clean energy each year than for coal and natural gas combined.

Last year the Top 10 countries leading the world in solar energy were ranked.

10. South Korea: 2,398 Megawatts
9. Belgium: 3,156 Megawatts
8. Australia: 4,130 Megawatts
7. Spain: 5,376 Megawatts
6. France: 5,678 Megawatts
5. United States: 18,317 Megawatts
4. Italy: 18,622 Megawatts
3. Japan: 23,409 Megawatts
2. China: 28,330 Megawatts
1. Germany: 38,250 Megawatts

Canada was nowhere to be seen on the list so clearly, we have work to do to improve our environmental footprint.