Solar power to cost less than diesel in India

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The French solar company Solairedirect is offering power to India’s national grid for 14c (US) per kWH, less than the average 25c cost of diesel,according to a Renewable Energy World report.

The great thing about solar energy at this moment in time is that its rapid growth is leading to an equally rapid drop in prices. There’s some disagreement about whether Solairedirect can actually sell solar profitably at this price, but they’re not alone — four companies offered prices lower than the typical cost of diesel.

The bids are being submitted as part of the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission,’ a government scheme which is set to allocate funding for 20,000 MW of solar power over the next ten years. According to Renewable Energy World, the gradual allocation of this solar capacity should mean that solar becomes the cheapest form of energy in India within the next two years. That’s not just good news because it means more renewables, but because it means a likely shrinkage of India’s reliance on diesel, a US$ 2.32 billion industry in India.

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Expect to see more measures like this one from the Indian government, now that it has agreed to discuss signing up to a successor of the Kyoto Protocol by 2020.

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