Solar Power Cheaper Than Diesel in India

In India, solar power is now cheaper than diesel which is prompting the largest mobile phone company, BHARTI to switch to solar for powering some rural cell towers. Also the world’s biggest mango-puree producer, Jaine Irrigation is building an 8.5 megawatt solar power plant.

The world’s second most populous country is using reverse auctions where the lowest bidder wins the power contract, to drive down solar prices. Their second auction took place in December and resulted in 28 new solar power plants being awarded to the lowest bidding company. This reverse auction system forces companies to compete on cost, and is part of the national plan to achieve 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022. The year 2025 is when India has been predicted to become the world’s most populous country, so development of clean energy sources for over one billion people is a very significant trend for reducing climate change and air pollution.

Air pollution in some parts of India is at unhealthy levels, and research conducted there found, “… severe levels of air pollution are leading to high incidence of respiratory diseases, cancer, and heart diseases. Major economic costs are associated with the health impacts of poor air quality.” (Source: Wind Arch) High levels of diesel emissions were also found to have an association with a greater risk of heart disease, in a separate study.

So switching to solar power is not only about reducing climate change emissions and protecting the environment, it is also can improve human health. If solar power can be used there to fuel electric cars, air pollution would be reduced further.

Image Credit: Eirik Refsdal

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50 comments

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

William K.
William K.4 years ago

This is a wonderful development.

Silas Garrett
Silas Garrett4 years ago

Heartening news! Now, if only other countries would follow suit.

Roger Bachelet
Roger Bachelet4 years ago

Good news! I suppose the use is outside the grid to compare sun and diesel. What was a great improvement last century to be connected seems to be a break to move to green energies in developed countries. Should we go to self production of electricity for each house or group of houses? What will be the incentive?

Roger Bachelet
Roger Bachelet4 years ago

Good news! I suppose the use is outside the grid to compare sun and diesel. What was a great improvement last century to be connected seems to be a break to move to green energies in developed countries. Should we go to self production of electricity for each house or group of houses? What will be the incentive?

Roger Bachelet
Roger Bachelet4 years ago

Good news! I suppose the use is outside the grid to compare sun and diesel. What was a great improvement last century to be connected seems to be a break to move to green energies in developed countries. Should we go to self production of electricity for each house or group of houses? What will be the incentive?

Sandi C.
Sandi C.4 years ago

noted!

Larry Lawton
Larry Lawton4 years ago

Solar power would be cheaper than fossil fuel power is some parts of the US right now, if it were not for vast government subsidies to the fossil fuel industries. Once a form of energy is cheaper, people, including businesses, will use it. That is why the politically powerful fossil fuel industry spends $millions on lobbyists, to keep their subsidies and artificially distort the "free" market.

In India, like most "developing" countries, the government can not afford to subsidize dinosaur industries, so something a lot closer to a "free" market already exists. Our problems in the US are not technological but political. Our political system is totally corrupt.

It is unlikely builders would install solar systems on new houses voluntarily. The upfront cost would make the houses too expensive to be competitive. Most house buyers are not sophisticated enough to calculate the long term pay-off. (And many Americans move around too frequently for there to be a long term pay-off for the original buyer.) But retrofitting solar systems on existing houses is not that difficult.

Peace.

Samson Daniel
Samson Daniel4 years ago

India has abundant and free energy the solar power sun shines the whole year in India but the solar panels are very costly the investment is one time but very high. Maintenance again is a big problem. The news is really good.

Mary Ann Dailey
Mary Ann Dailey4 years ago

I hope this news reaches US legislators and corporate execs! I'm happy that India is leading the way and I hope many nations take their lead.