National Solar Program drives solar energy prices low

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National Solar Program drives solar energy prices low

Greentech Lead India:
India’s ambitious national solar program has catalyzed rapid growth in the
solar market driving solar energy prices low and demonstrating how government
policy can stimulate clean energy markets, said a new report by the Natural
Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and the Council on Energy, Environment and
Water (CEEW).

In only two years, competitive bidding under India’s
National Solar Mission drove prices for grid-connected solar energy to nearly
the price of electricity from fossil fuels, the CEEW report said.

During that same period, cumulative installed solar capacity
in India surged from 17.8 MW to over 500 MW, as discussed in “Laying the
Foundation for a Bright Future: Assessing Progress Under Phase 1 of India’s
National Solar Mission.”

The report from NRDC and CEEW provides recommendations to
aid the Indian government, private sector and other stakeholders in overcoming
obstacles to achieving the Mission’s goal of 20 GW of installed solar capacity
by 2022, equivalent in energy capacity to 40 mid-sized coal-fired power plants.

These include encouraging financing, boosting domestic
manufacturing, and creating a conducive environment.

“As the world’s second-fastest growing economy, India
has sparked a powerful solar market in only two years,” said Anjali
Jaiswal, senior attorney for the India Initiative of NRDC, a US headquartered
international nonprofit environmental organization.

“While the National Solar Mission still faces
significant hurdles, India has already made important strides to attract new
domestic and international players into the market, and lower the price of
solar energy faster than most anticipated,” Jaiswal added.

“As nations race to become clean energy leaders,
governments around the world will be closely following the progress of India’s
National Solar Mission,” said Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, CEO for the CEEW.

Addressing the recently held international
conference on Renewable Energy and Climate Change in Chennai, Union Minister of
State, PMO, V Narayanasamy said solar energy is crucial to the future of power
generation in India. 

While asserting the importance of solar energy, Narayanasamy
said the country needs to exploit a variety of energy sources like nuclear,
fossil and renewable to meet the present demand and bridge the gap between the
supply and demand of power.  Currently nuclear energy contributes 4870 MW
of power from 20 nuclear power stations. The country plans to increase the
capacity to 40,000 MW by 2020. 

Recently Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked South
Korean businessmen to invest in solar and nuclear power sectors to expand
environment-friendly technologies. 

[email protected] 

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