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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.

Renewable Energy And Sustainability Sources

We might know the basics of renewable energy sources and the sustainability of each resource.  However, society doesn’t often know the hard facts of renewable resources and their importance to our generation.

wind

Our society relies so much on coal, oil, and gases for energy.  Some of these are non-renewable so all it’s doing to our world is generating more waste.  Eventually, it’s extremely damaging to our environment and also becoming more and more expensive.  However, we can do much to change not only our environment, but also the world we live in.  Instead of using fossil fuels, we can switch to renewable energy resources like wind and solar – these resources will also never run out and be replenished all the time.

As you might be able to tell, renewable energy sources come mainly from the Sun.  Sunlight provides solar energy which turns into heating and lighting.  Solar power gives us electricity and generates hot water for both commercial and industrial uses.  The Sun also provides wind.  Wind energy causes water to evaporate, thus turning it into rain.  As the water rains down, we are able to generate hydroelectric power.

Other types of renewable energy may come from the Earth.  Geothermal goes deep down into the Earth to get our planet’s internal heating.  The ocean also provides an energy source as per tidal energy.  The ocean’s waves, which are driven by winds, are what causes tidal energy.

As you can see, the sustainability of renewable resources is constant.  It’s much more environmentally friendly and also better for us humans.  Instead of producing waste, we should turn our actions into producing more efficient ways of getting renewable resources.  This in turn helps our planet and will decrease the amount of waste we put out.