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article imageSolar power has become the world's cheapest form of electricity

By Karen Graham     Dec 19, 2016 in Environment
New statistics from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released Thursday show that for the first time, solar power has become the cheapest form of electricity in the world.
The BNEF report analyzed the growth and cost of solar power in over 50 countries, including China, Brazil, and India, and found that the cost had dropped by one-third since 2010, outperforming fossil fuels on a large scale, according to Common Dreams.
BNEF chairman Michael Liebreich sent a note to clients this week saying solar power had entered “the era of undercutting” fossil fuels. This is because unsubsidized solar projects in developing countries are beginning to compete against coal and natural gas projects, and solar is winning in a big way.
The biggest boost to solar power has been the reduction in the costs associated with the projects, and the reduction in the cost of electricity generated - by as much as 50 percent in many cases. Last week Digital Journal did a story on the 25MW Barcaldine, Queensland Regional Community Solar Farm.
The Barcaldine solar farm was finished two months ahead of schedule. This is because construction has become easier as more projects are started. Basically, the industry is getting faster and more proficient at developing big solar projects, a big plus for the solar power industry.
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Bloomberg New Energy Finance
"Solar investment has gone from nothing—literally nothing—like five years ago to quite a lot,” said Ethan Zindler, head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF, according to EcoWatch. “A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar and helping other countries finance their own projects."
The bottom line, according to Bloomberg is that when all the 2016 solar projects are tallied at the end of the year, the amount of solar photovoltaics globally will exceed wind projects for the first time. And this seems to be working best in developing countries with good reason.
"[F]or populations still relying on expensive kerosene generators, or who have no electricity at all, and for those living in the dangerous smog of thickly populated cities," Bloomberg reports, "the shift to renewables and increasingly to solar can't come soon enough."
More about Solar power, Wind energy, cheapest form of electricity, Fossil fuels, China
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