Coal, on the other hand, costs $102 per megawatt-hour to produce.
This recent change could be a sign that the world is on the verge of an energy revolution.
The cost of solar power is decreasing so rapidly, it's now cheaper than coal, based on a new analysis.
A recent report from Lazard shows how the costs of producing electricity from various sources are changing. Energy from utility-scale solar plants — plants that produce electricity that feeds into the grid — has seen the biggest price drop: an 86% decrease since 2009.
The cost of producing one megawatt-hour of electricity — a standard way to measure electricity production — is now around $50 for solar power, according to Lazard's math. The cost of producing one megawatt-hour of electricity from coal, by comparison, is $102 — more than double the cost of solar.
The dramatic change is clear in this chart:
Lazard's analysis is based on a measurement known as the levelized cost of energy analysis (LCOE), which is a way of calculating the total production cost of building and operating an electricity-generating plant.
The rapidly declining cost of solar is a sign that the world may be on the verge of a dramatic change in how we power our buildings and vehicles. The price drop is likely to spur a shift toward renewable power sources like wind and solar and away from fossil fuels like oil and coal.