I had written some time back about a price of Rs 4.63 per kWh (about 7 US cents) for solar power in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and had also wondered out loud whether such a price was indeed sustainable.

And what should I land up right next but an interesting compilation from SeeNews chronicling how there have been prices lower than that of Andhra Pradesh, and that too throughout 2015.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the low bid prices that happened for solar in 2015:

  • Q1 – 7.7 cents/kWh – Wick Farm & Roston Solar scheme – UK (it was later announced these projects will not take off)
  • Q2 – 3.87 cents/kWh – Playa Solar
  • Q2 – 6.1 cents/kWh – Jordan
  • Q3 – 5.99 cents/kWh – Dubai
  • Q3 – 8.5 cents/kWh – Brazil
  • Q3 – 8.1 cents/kWh – India (Telangana)
  • Q4 – 7 cents/kWh – India (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Q4 – Chile – 6.5 cents/kWh

We can thus see that the Indian bid of 7 US cents/kWh is hardly the lowest – in fact, the US bid of 3.87 cents/kWh is almost 50% lower than that of what is already considered a very low bid price in India.

Of course, many of the bid prices could have factored in subsidies and incentives, and as a result are not true costs of solar power, unlike in the case of the Indian (Andhra Pradesh) bid of 7 cents/kWh, which does not factor in any of those incentives.

All the same, the above data and analyses point to only one thing: We are already in an era of super low solar power prices, supported by incentives or otherwise.

And very soon (according to Solar Mango estimates, by 2018), utility scale solar power without incentives will be available at prices comparable to those of conventional fossil fuel power in most countries, with countries such as the US with real cheap natural gas could be some of the few holding out.

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