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Published on November 3rd, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan


Cost of Solar Power in India May Drop 40% by 2015

November 3rd, 2011 by  

india solar power costs

Lanco Solar CEO V. Saibaba has stated that he thinks solar power costs  in India could come down 40% by 2015, which would make solar cost-competitive with other energy sources even without subsidies correcting for the social costs of dirty energy.

Due to the growing solar market for solar and technological development, the rupee per kilowatt price of solar is projected to drop from 11-12 to 7-8. “The most important thing is the economics of scale are coming,” Saibaba told Reuters on the sidelines of a solar industry conference. “In the next three to four years, I see the solar power costs coming down to 7 to 8 rupees a unit.”

India, one of the world’s largest polluters (in total, not per capita or per GDP), has a plan to invest $70 billion in solar by 2022, reaching 1,300 MW by 2013 and 20,000 MW by 2022.

The projected price trends and cost-competitiveness are comparable to worldwide projections. It’s pretty a common expectation that in 3-5 years — even without any accounting for the trillions in dollars dirty energy costs the world each year in social, environmental, and health problems — solar will be completely cost-competitive. In such a world, unless the rich dirty energy industry convinces politicians to give them even more than the billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies it gets every year, solar will continue its explosive growth around the world.

“Given the current scenario with the way it is growing and the way costs are coming down, our industry will probably not require any financial support from the state going forward in maybe three to four years,” Saibaba said.

Check out more on India’s solar (and wind) energy projects and plans here.

Solar panels in India via Ajay Tallum

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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • Did you mean 7-8 rupees per watt, not kilowatt?

    • Anonymous

      Eight rupees would be about $0.16. So kWh.

      Currently larger solar systems (commercial buildings) in sunny parts of the States are producing power at just over $0.15/kWh. I’d bet that the price in India could drop lower than 8 rupees per kWh by 2015.

      What it would take is getting their purchasing organized so that they could move a large amount of product into an area, rather than just a few panels at a time. Installation labor will be cheaper than in the US.

      Some village purchasing co-ops might be the solution. Get pallet sized purchases lined up and there will be significant savings. And since at the most elementary level the system can be DC there will be no need for inverters. Just a much cheaper charge controller to keep from cooking the battery. Lights, cell phones, laptops – all sorts of things can be run without an inverter.

      India could even start making small, very efficient DC refrigerators for off-grid use.

      Or villages could form their own utility company, centralizing the panels/batteries and sharing a large inverter.

      The great advantage is that solar can be installed where the grid doesn’t go and that cuts down on overall costs. No transmission lines needed.

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