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Solar cheaper than wind, says BNEF

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

Solar installation in non-OECD countries can cost less than wind (pic: DP Energy)
Solar installation in non-OECD countries can cost less than wind (pic: DP Energy)

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 Capex for wind projects has dropped to $1.65m/MW, compared with $1.66m/MW. Capex costs, however, are not generally seen as a guide to overall competitiveness. 

"Solar investment has gone from nothing — literally nothing — like five years ago to quite a lot. A huge part of this story is China, which has been rapidly deploying solar and helping other countries finance their own projects," BNEF head of US policy analysis Ethan Zindler told Bloomberg news.

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, 11GW more than wind.

According to the new report, non-OECD countries were investing and deploying more renewable energy than the member nations, led by the Chinese and Indian markets.

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