Solar power ‘now cheaper than fossil fuels’

Solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels. That’s according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), which states renewables have finally reached a tipping point of […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Solar power is now cheaper than fossil fuels.

That’s according to a new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF), which states renewables have finally reached a tipping point of popularity thanks to massive investment, falling installation costs, a rise in clean energy policies and technological advancements.

This is supported by new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), which shows the average price of solar energy in 60 countries is now $1.65 million/MW (£1.35m), with wind almost neck-and-neck at $1.66 million/MW (£1.35m).

The WEF report adds roughly 9.5GW of solar capacity was added to the US grid in 2016, making it the year’s most popular choice of energy source to install. Around 1.7GW of this figure came from households and businesses.

China’s $103 billion (£84.06bn) investment in solar is likely to only add more to investor confidence.

Michael Drexler, Head of Long Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development at the WEF, said: “Renewable energy has reached a tipping point. It now constitutes the best chance to reverse global warming.

“Solar and wind have just become very competitive and costs continue to fall. It is not only a commercially viable option but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long term, stable, inflation-protected returns.”

In the next decade, the price of solar energy is expected to fall to around half of that of coal generation.