Is Solar Power the World’s Cheapest Form of Electricity?
Solar power generation is the process of transforming energy produced by sunlight into renewable electricity and is most commonly created through photovoltaics (PV) panels. PV panels use electrons in silicon cells to absorb photons of light from the sun which are then converted into electrical energy.
Electricity produced through solar power is the cleanest, most reliable form of renewable energy that can power homes, businesses and streets. Recent research now indicates that solar power is the cheapest way to generate electricity.
Recent research has identified that the cost of solar power in over 30 less economically developed countries (LEDC), including India and Brazil, has dropped by about a third of its price in 2010 and is now cheaper than wind energy.
Transforming Developing Worlds
In August last year (2016), an auction to supply Chile with electricity achieved a record low price of just £23 per megawatt hour, this is half the price of coal and is a new record for renewable energy prices.
In comparison to developing countries, renewable electricity costs can be higher in richer nations due to renewable generators competing with fossil fuel power stations.
However, prices are expected to drop in richer nations in the near future, with solar power predicted to fall to half the price of electricity produced from fossil fuels. This means the globe have a higher chance of removing its dependence on fossil fuels.
Improvements for 2017
Many goals to improve the use of renewable energy have been put into place, with markets in countries such as China, Brazil, Chile and South Africa more likely to attract investors in low-carbon energy projects.
We can only hope the prices of renewable energy fall within richer nations so they too can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.
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