India consumes a lot energy and consumption keeps growing as their economy expands. They also rely heavily on coal. The government knows that their current form of energy production causes harm and it will only get worse. As a result they have made a huge push towards solar.
Their efforts are working with coal prices being comparable to solar and now India has a burgeoning solar industry. This will continue unless the WTO gets in the way. With luck the oppressive behaviour of the WTO will lessen when they see how profitable non-destructive energy polices can be.
Solar prices are now within 15% of coal, according to KPMG. If current trends hold, the consultancy predicts electricity from solar will actually be 10% cheaper than domestic coal by 2020.
And that could turn out to be a conservative forecast. At a recent government auction, the winning bidder offered to sell electricity generated by a project in sunny Rajasthan for 4.34 rupees (6 cents) per kilowatt hour, roughly the same price as some recent coal projects.
“Solar is very competitive,” said Vinay Rustagi of renewable energy consultancy Bridge to India. “It’s a huge relief for countries like India which want to get more and more solar power.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made access to electricity a top priority, and has set the goal of making 24-hour power available to all 1.3 billion Indians. Currently, even India’s biggest cities suffer from frequent power outages.
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