The sun. Bringer of day. Giver of life. Causer of that squinty face you’re making in your Christmas card photo. And now, perhaps, also the unlikely savior of our climate and planet. Thanks largely to a major decline in the cost of equipment, solar power has become the cheapest new energy source on the market. "Unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects," Bloomberg’s Tom Randall reports , summarizing a series of new data released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which surveyed 58 emerging economies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. The fact that this is taking place in the developing world is a big deal, as it could potentially allow some countries to skip dirty, costly fossil fuels altogether — or at least mostly. Back in the ’90s, much of Africa couldn’t reliably talk to each other on the phone. Even in 2015, only 2% of African households had landline connections . But the advent of mobile phones allowed many countries to rapidly build communication infrastructure without having to install costly, resource-and-labor-intensive telephone […]

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