Solar Prices Beat Coal in India, Chile, and Beyond
Recent power purchase auctions in India and Chile show that large-scale solar is now cheaper than new coal plants in both countries, underscoring the “extraordinary gains that large-scale solar has made against its fossil fuel competitors,” RenewEconomy reported earlier this month.
In addition to SunEdison’s big win against competing coal generators in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, “fossil fuel projects did not win a single megawatt of capacity” in a Chilean auction that was open to all electricity generation technologies, Parkinson writes. “The auction produced the lowest ever price for unsubsidized solar—US6.5¢/kWh.”
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
The article also points to an auction earlier in the year in which Austin Energy in Texas bought 300 MW of solar for less than US4.0¢/kWh. “Even after backing out a tax credit, this is still less than US6c/kWh, and still beats gas and new coal plants, if anyone was planning to build one.”
The implication, Parkinson says, is that “utilities are choosing large-scale solar over new peaking gas plants. Solar PV is beating gas on fuel costs alone, and is acting as a safe hedge against fuel price volatility.”