As per the report released by Economic Times, the cost of generation of solar power is set to fall to as low as INR 1.9 per unit over the next decade in India with new technologies boosting efficiency levels, a joint study by TERI and US-based think tank Climate Policy Initiative has revealed. The report said that “By 2030, we project that the cost of wind and solar will be between INR 2.3-2.6 per Kilowatt hour (kWh) and INR 1.9-2.3 per kWh, respectively, while the cost of storage will have fallen by about 70 per cent.”
According to the analysis, the required investments in electricity generation capacities are going to be substantial, at about INR 1.65-1.75 lakh crore per year. This is slightly above the investment rate achieved over the past 10 years, around INR 1.40-1.50 lakh crore per year. This will represent a substantial financing challenge given the current stresses on the Indian banking system.
The study shows that by 2030 solar electricity could be as cheap as INR 2.30 per kWh and even cheaper solar costs are possible, in the order of INR 1.90 per kWh, if the widespread deployment of tracking technology raises the capacity utilization factor of new plants above current levels.
Similarly, for wind, with mast heights increasing from the current level of 80 meters to 100 and even 120 meters, the baseline projection for 2030 for the levelized costs of wind at INR 2.58 per kWh could be as low as INR 2.26 for projects with higher capacity utilization factors.
In contrast, the study projects that new non-pithead coal could be as expensive as INR 6.98 per kWh by 2030, while cheaper pithead coal would be INR 4.85 per kWh by then.
The report also projects dramatic cost reductions in storage technologies, saying that the levelized cost of solar plus three hours of storage could fall from INR 13.6 per kWh to INR 6.34 per kWh. The levelized cost of stand-alone storage could fall from around INR 29.0 kWh to INR 11.9 per kWh by 2030. This decline in storage cost could help facilitate high penetrations of cheap solar in the grid.
The report titled “Accelerating India’s transition to Renewables: Results from the ETC India Project” also states that in the high renewables scenario by 2030 the share of variable renewables including wind and solar will reach 30 per cent of total generation by 2030, and 390 GW of capacity. The capacity could reach 420 Gw if small hydro and biomass based projects are also considered.
The report estimates that the share of all zero-carbon technologies in generation, including large hydro and nuclear, will reach 45 per cent, representing a rapid decarbonization of Indian power production. The grid emissions factor declines from 733 gCO2/kWh in 2018 to 555 gCO2/kWh in 2030, a reduction of 25 per cent.
Source: Economic Times, Steelguru.com