Data: WoodMac; Chart: Axios Visuals

Solar costs have dropped precipitously in the last decade across South Asia and the Pacific, new research from consultancy Wood Mackenzie shows.

Why it matters: It’s a sign of potential good news to come for efforts to address climate change. As nations in South Asia rapidly increase their electricity consumption, renewable energy will increasingly be able to help fill that demand in the coming decades.

  • The above chart shows the levelized cost of electricity, which consists of the cost of different power sources over the lifetime of a facility, including the cost of building it.

What they’re saying: India’s "high-quality solar resources, market scale and competition have pushed solar costs down to half the level seen in many other Asia Pacific countries," said WoodMac research director Alex Whitworth.

But, but, but: Coal is still king in the region. Wind and solar made up just 6% of the region’s electricity, a number Whitworth says will increase to a "much higher level in coming years."

  • The region will continue to build coal plants for the foreseeable future as it satisfies big power demand and balances out wind and solar resources that don’t always generate electricity, Whitworth says.

Go deeper: The companies going big on solar

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 19,511,596 — Total deaths: 724,590 — Total recoveries — 11,876,387Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 p.m. ET: 4,995,369 — Total deaths: 162,461 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid — Democrats slam Trump, urge GOP to return to negotiations
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

10 hours ago - World

What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.