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Coal Production May Cost Three Times More Than Solar Energy By 2040

By Brian Spaen

Coal has been well-documented to be on the way out as a main source of energy production. Many countries are moving toward natural gas and renewable energy, and that’s only going to increase as costs to use these alternative sources go down. A report suggests that solar energy will not only be cheaper to build than coal-fired power plants, but even cheaper than natural gas, and it’s all happening sooner than experts predicted.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance believes that the crossover will happen four years from now in 2021 when solar becomes cheaper than coal in the markets of China and India. At the moment, coal is hovering at $60 per megawatt hour while solar and onshore wind farms are still well above that. It could only take a year or so for wind farms to become cheaper, then solar will likely follow.

According to their research, coal costs will actually increase until it levels off in 2030, a time when many countries have set a goal to become fueled solely by renewable energy. While that will hit above $60 per megawatt hour, both wind and solar farms will be at $40 or below. Solar is expected to be even cheaper than wind by 2023.