With the installation of almost 20 GWs of solar power during the last financial year, and a projected 14 GWs by the end of 2016, India is likely to far exceed its national 15-point plan to install 100 GW by 2022.
The Energy Minister of India commented at the release of the 15-point plan on Monday that “I think a new coal plant would give you costlier power than a solar plant,”. His comments were aided by the news that 420 MWs of solar power was recently auctioned off at 4.34 Rupees/KWh (0.07 USD/KWh) in Rajasthan, while coal is still being sold at 3-5 Rupees/KWh.
A report by Deutsche Bank expects that India will see investment in solar energy exceed that of coal by 2020. They found that solar tariffs have dropped 60% in the last 4 years, and are now at prices that are almost competitive with other conventional power supplies, and that prices are likely to drop another 30-40% due to technical improvements.
Helped by gains in the solar sector, the report revised its projection that 13% of Indian power will be produced by renewables by 2020 to 20% renewables in the same time frame. Additionally, they project that coal will see its share of Indian power drop by 8% at the same time.
India’s power plan has been under fire by foreign nations recently for its alleged protectionist policies.The US filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization, which found that the Indian government was discriminating against imports.