Burning coal to generate electricity in today’s era of cheap power from the sun makes as about as much economic sense as “burning dollar notes”, one of Australia’s leading solar researchers has said. Speaking at the APVI Asia Pacific Solar Research Conference in Melbourne this week, UNSW Professor Martin Green said the world had entered a “new area” where solar was well and truly the cheapest way of generating bulk electricity. Green, who recently predicted that the cost of solar would fall to around $US10/MWh, or 1c/kWh by 2020, repeated that bullish projection on Wednesday, based on the new lows in prices being bid at international auctions for the long-term supply of electricity. Green said this downward trajectory had taken the cost of solar from still “a relatively expensive option” just two years ago, to a point two months ago where a price of $US17.86/MWh was bid at an auction in Saudi Arabia. It has since fallen even lower, to $US17.70/MWh, or $A23.40/MWh, in Mexico’s latest tender, for 3 terawatt-hours of solar electricity.
Renew Economy 6th Dec 2017 read more »