In Brief
New solar bid is a more than 16-percent drop in price over previous world record low. This follows a trend of cheaper solar as prices have fallen over 80 percent in the last five years alone.

The Lowest Bidder

Renewable energy is shaking up the power sector. All over the world, countries are running days, if not weeks or months, solely on solar, wind, and/or hydroelectric power. International governments are even betting big on renewables, creating large offshore wind turbines and solar farms.

Add to this the continued record lows on solar PV prices that major companies are setting. In fact, for a large solar park in Abu Dhabi, solar module manufacturing giant JinkoSolar bid what is currently the world’s lowest price for solar power: $24.20/MWh. The previous record for lowest bid happened in Chile at $29/MWh, which was set just this past August, and before that, the lowest bid occurred in the UAE and came in at $30/MWh.

Even going that low, JinkoSolar still expects an annual return of 7 percent, so this isn’t just an example of an industry giant giving low bids to squeeze out competition. The other bidders also put out similarly low prices and, according to PV Magazine, the whole industry is showing that it can compete with fossil fuels, with solar prices dropping over 80 percent in the last five years alone.

Image Credit: PV Magazine

A Better Alternative

These developments are coming at a time when oil prices are also experiencing record lows, which should mean less of a demand for renewables, right?

In theory, yes. However, other factors are making renewables more competitive than fossil fuels. Government policies are promoting greener energy, with green industries getting subsidized and incentivized. Consumers and businesses are showing strong support for green initiatives as well, but the real reason renewables are booming comes down to one simple fact: they’re cleaner.

These green energy sources help to minimize our impact on the Earth and slow down the progression of climate change, and now that the green industry is getting financially competitive, renewables are no longer just about the environment. Renewable are now also healthy for the bottom line. For those that are looking for a cleaner option and also a fiscally responsible option…why not have both?