For cheapest power on earth, look skyward as coal falls to solar

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The 5MW SlimSun Solar Park near Darling in the Western Cape. (Photo: David le Page)
The 5MW SlimSun Solar Park near Darling in the Western Cape. (Photo: David le Page)

London - Solar power is now cheaper than coal in some parts of the world. In less than a decade, it’s likely to be the lowest-cost option almost everywhere.

In 2016, countries from Chile to the United Arab Emirates broke records with deals to generate electricity from sunshine for less than 3 cents a kilowatt-hour, half the average global cost of coal power.

Now, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Mexico are planning auctions and tenders for this year, aiming to drop prices even further. Taking advantage: Companies such as Italy’s Enel SpA and Dublin’s Mainstream Renewable Power, who gained experienced in Europe and now seek new markets abroad as subsidies dry up at home.

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