The cost of generating solar power has plunged low enough to threaten thermal power fleets in the world coal capital of China and fossil fuel facilities in the petrostate of the UAE, according to new figures published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
With the crucial falls in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) from large scale solar and onshore wind having occurred in the last six months, the analyst also claims energy storage projects are now cheaper in Europe, China and Japan than building new fossil fuel facilities for handling peak electricity loads – with the switch having taken place over the same period.
The average levelized cost of energy (LCOE) generated by large scale solar plants has fallen to $50/MWh since October, according to the BloombergNEF study. That marked a 4%, six-month fall in costs for solar, according to the analysts, during a period when onshore wind costs tumbled 9% to $44/MWh.
The roll-out of monocrystalline solar modules in China drove down the solar power cost 9% to $38/MWh in the global solar capital during the same period, said BloombergNEF, with the study adding: “New-build solar in the country is now almost on par with the running cost of coal-fired power plants.”
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