Solar cheaper than wind for first time

The fall in price of solar panels has caused solar power to become cheaper than wind for the first time, according to new research.

The new "Climatescope" report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) suggests that in "emerging-market economies", new solar projects can cost less than building new wind sites.

Taking data from 58 of these non-OECD markets, including China, India and Brazil, shows that capital expenditure for wind projects has dropped to $1.65m/MW, compared with $1.66m/MW.

Ethan Zindler, BNEF head of US policy analysis, claims that solar investment has gone from “literally nothing” to “quite a lot” in the space of around five years.

“A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar and helping other countries finance their own projects,” he said.

BNEF said the price of solar has fallen to half that of coal in some markets, citing the $29.10/MWh in the recent Chile power tender.

The data firm also suggested installed solar capacity in 2016 will exceed that of wind for the first time. It predicts 70GW of new solar capacity, which is 11GW more than wind.

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