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The price of solar power has plummeted in recent months to levels rivaling that of coal, positioning the renewable source as a viable mainstream option in a country where 300 million people live without electricity. Solar prices are now within 15% of coal, according to KPMG. If current trends hold, the consultancy predicts electricity from solar will actually be 10% cheaper than domestic coal by 2020. And that could turn out to be a conservative forecast. At a recent government auction, the winning bidder offered to sell electricity generated by a project in sunny Rajasthan for 4.34 rupees (6 cents) per kilowatt hour, roughly the same price as some recent coal projects.

“…There are reasons to push solar beyond its low price — it’s a much h
ealthier option in a country that is home to 13 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities. The environmental benefits of solar will be even more pronounced if its rise comes at the expense of coal, which currently makes up 60% of India’s energy production. India’s coal has a high ash content, and it releases toxins and metals into the air when burned. ‘In the very long term … [solar investments] can help reduce air pollution,’ said Aruna Kumarankandath, a program officer at the Centre for Science and Environment.

But Modi has so far taken a different approach. In order to expand electricity access as quickly as possible, he wants to double double coal production by 2020….” CNN Money. Read it on

India’s big move into solar is already paying off