Solar will be 10% cheaper than domestic coal in India by 2020, the international consulting firm KPMG projected earlier this month, showing that “India’s massive bet on solar is paying off far earlier than anticipated,” CNN reported earlier this month.
“Solar is very competitive,” said renewable energy consultant Vinay Rustagi of Bridge to India. “It’s a huge relief for countries like India which want to get more and more solar power,” at a time when 300 million people in the country have no access to electricity.
KPMG placed solar prices within 15% of coal, but CNN notes that estimate may already by out of date: in January, a solar auction in Rajasthan produced a winning bid of 6¢ per kilowatt-hour, comparable with new coal generation.
“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,” writes CNN correspondent Huizhong Wu. “To improve the power supply, Modi has set the goal of bringing 100 gigawatts of solar-based power online by 2022, a twenty-fold increase from current levels. Infrastructure must also be improved and the 280-gigawatt electric grid needs to be expanded and modernized.”