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Dhaka Monday,  Dec 5, 2022

India successfully reduced the costs of solar energy

In the short span of three years, India has made impressive strides in developing its abundant solar power potential. It has added capacity at a commendable pace, and successfully reduced the costs of solar energy to around $0.12 per kWh for solar photo voltaic (PV) and $0.21 per kWh for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), making India amongst the lowest cost destinations for grid-connected solar power in the world.
Growth in the energy sector is key for India as more than 300 million of the country’s people still lack access to electricity, and industry cites energy shortages as a critical barrier to growth. The development of solar power will help India produce clean energy and contribute to reducing emissions per unit of GDP by 20-25% by 2020, over 2005 levels.
India’s concerted efforts to develop solar power began in January 2010, when the country launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) as one of the eight missions under the country’s National Action Plan for Climate Change. The Mission’s aim was to deploy solar power on a large scale and position India as a major world power in solar manufacturing as well as research and development.
The first phase of JNNSM (2010-13) witnessed enthusiastic participation from Indian and international investors in the grid-connected segment. The strategy adopted the innovative mechanism of bundling relatively expensive solar power with power from the unallocated quota of the Government of India’s thermal power stations, which is relatively cheaper. It also followed a reverse bidding mechanism that enabled qualified bidders to benefit from declining global prices for solar components, thereby reducing the purchase price of both solar PV and CSP for the utilities.
Since planning for JNNSM Phase II (2013-17) will commence soon, it is important that it be based on sound analysis of lessons learnt from the first phase. The Government of India (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) therefore commissioned a study in 2012 to identify the key challenges that could impede the expansion of the program.

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