Solar Power is Cheaper Than Coal in India Already

Experts all over the world recently predicted that renewable resources would be cheaper than fossil fuels within the next decade, but for India that time may already be here. Here is an excerpt from the story: 

The latest auction of solar energy capacity in India has achieved a new record low price of 4.34 rupees/kWh, prompting the country’s energy minister Piyush Goyal to say that solar tariffs are now cheaper than coal-fired generation.

The results of a reverse auction tender of 420MW of solar capacity conducted by the Rajasthan government revealed this week that Finnish group Fortum Energy bid the lowest price of 4.34 rupees/kWh for a 70MW solar PV plant.

It is the lowest price obtained so far in India, which aims to install more than 100GW of solar by 2022, and was hailed by Goyal as a sign that solar power is now cheaper than coal power.

“Through transparent auctions with a ready provision of land, transmission and the like, solar tariffs have come down below thermal power cost,” Goyal said in a tweet.

In a later tweet, Goyal said: “We are moving rapidly towards realising the clean energy vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

In a week in which it was revealed that China’s coal consumption for electricity had slumped 3.5 per cent last year, it is a further bad sign for Australia’s coal exporters.

The Fortum bid betters the previous low of 4.63 rupees/kWh made by the US-based SunEdison, the world’s biggest developer of renewable energy power plants, for a 500MW plant in Andra Pradesh last November.

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