Jan 3, 2017: In the developing world, solar energy has become the most cost-effective new source of electricity.
In about 60 lower-income countries including China, India, and Brazil, the average price of solar energy has dropped to $1.65 million per megawatt in 2016, even below wind energy, which was at $1.66 million per megawatt.
It means that solar energy will be now an attractive form of energy for companies to invest in.
New solar projects in emerging markets are now costing less to develop than wind projects. Even unsubsidized solar has outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale.
At auctions, where private companies compete for contracts to provide electricity, many put forward cheap solar power projects. It began with a contract in India to produce solar-based electricity for $64 per megawatt-hour. Another deal in Chile quoted $29.10 per megawatt-hour in Chile.
In 2016, China invested $103 billion in solar projects, more than the US ($44.1 billion), UK ($22.2 billion), and Japan ($36.2 billion) put together.
Besides price drop, solar is also booming for reasons like falling equipment costs, new business models, growing investment, and a rise in clean energy policies.