Rooftop Solar

Published on November 17th, 2015 | by Jake Richardson


Solar Prices Could Be 10% Less Than Coal In India By 2020

November 17th, 2015 by  

KPMG has released a report stating that by 2020 solar power in India could cost about 10% less than coal power, saying “Solar power price declines have beaten the expectations of most analysts since the beginning of 2015. In the ongoing NTPC solar park tender, solar prices have breached the INR 5/kwh and this is a landmark for the energy sector. Today, in India, solar prices are within 15% of power prices on a levelized basis. Our forecast is that by 2020, solar power prices could be up to 10% lower than coal power prices.” You can read the full report, titled ‘The Rising Sun – Disruption on the Horizonhere.

2020 is not that far away, and if it does come to pass that solar power is cheaper than electricity generated by coal in just a handful of years in such a huge country that consumes tremendous quantities of the stuff, it certainly would be quite a milestone.

“We need to re-engineer our process to create energy efficiency and conservation to give India an affordable energy access. A holistic vision is the need of the hour in order to reach 200 million people at a faster rate. I am personally convinced that any amount of investment in this sector will have a quick pay back,” explained energy minister Piyush Goyal.

We’ve already seen that solar power in Chile can be cheaper than electricity produced by coal. Who is paying attention to these developments though? Critics and cynics could say that Chile is a nation of only 17 million with exceptional solar power potential, and therefore is not indicative of a larger solar power trend.

However, India’s population is 1.25 billion, so it can not be dismissed as too small to count. In fact, its population is several times that of US, and India doesn’t have the same wealth or technological development. The US should be able to achieve something along similar lines, if India can in five years.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that naysayers were saying grid parity wasn’t possible with renewables – especially for solar power. Now, it seems we are moving towards a reality where solar power could be cheaper than coal power, in some cases.

Image Credit: Karunakar Rayker, Wiki Commons

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

  • Brett

    I’m not a fan of people who say, “Well if India/China can do it, why can’t we?” I’d like to see solar and wind power continue to roll out as quickly as possible, but the fact remains that our electricity systems were developed almost a century ago, and that legacy infrastructure creates a disincentive to upgrade too quickly.

    Kinda like how millions of people in North America still have landline phones, when so many other countries never even bothered to build the infrastructure for such systems. Its the price we pay for being the first mover on so many technologies.

    In fact it seems more logical and reasonable that less developed nations should be able to leap frog our technological progression and start using the most advanced technologies sooner.

  • Ross

    The stalling coal power generation in India should accelerate further and infrastructure for importing coal will be a white elephant.

  • Ronald Brakels

    Of course, once any part way realistic accounting of air pollution and environmental damage is made, solar power is already much cheaper than coal in India. Unfortunately there are peopel in this world who are determined to avoid such an accounting.

    • Frank

      Which is bad for the economy, and bad for people. There should be a price on everything going up the smokestack. That said, India has people with no grid power. Coal can’t compete in that space.

  • Martin

    Would that be with or without a carbon tax?
    If carbon taxes would be added that cost would come down sooner?

    • Ronald Brakels

      Without a carbon tax. India does have a coal tax, but it is quite low. However, a low coal tax is still far better than nothing and can always be increased.

Back to Top ↑