Cheaper with sunlight
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It is cheaper to build and operate a solar power station in India and in the majority of European countries than to run an existing coal-fired station, according to the experts at Bloomberg NEF.

The analysts assessed the cost of power derived from photovoltaic and wind stations, taking account of the cost of construction, operation and technical servicing – and then calculated the cost of the energy produced.

    According to their analysis, over the course of the first six months of 2021, the costs for large solar and wind-powered stations fell from $48 to $41 per MWh – a reduction of 5 to 7 % compared to the first half of 2020. The cheapest energy was produced in Brazil and Texas for wind energy and Chile and India for soIar — $22 per Mwh.

    In China, the cost of building and operating a solar-powered station totalled $34 per Mwh – cheaper than existing coal-fired generation at $35 per MWh. In India, the cost was $25 for solar per Mwh, compared to $26 for coal.

    China and India are the world’s two largest sources of coal-fired power generation.

    In Europe, the current cost of new solar batteries totals $33 to $50 per Mwh. For coal-fired energy, the cost is $70.

    The experts noted that prices for steel and polysilicon, vital for renewable energy sources, have risen significantly. As a result, the cost of photovoltaic modules and wind turbines have also risen – about 5 to 10 %. However, by “spreading” this cost through the entire chain of production, there have been no increases in the price of alternative energy.

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