India scraps 14GW of coal as solar price plummets

India has cancelled plans to install nearly 14GW of coal generation as solar prices plummet. The Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

India has cancelled plans to install nearly 14GW of coal generation as solar prices plummet.

The Director of Energy Finance Studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Tim Buckley, said the shift away from carbon intensive fossil fuel generation is likely to have a significant effect on energy markets across the world.

He said 13.7GW of planned coal power plants have been scrapped this month alone.

In January 2016, a Finnish company called Fortum reportedly started generating solar electricity in Rajasthan at record low prices, triggering a change in how new energy installations across the country are perceived.

Mr Buckley said: “For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound.

“Measures taken by the Indian Government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable.”

He added India’s solar tariffs have “literally been free falling” in recent months and suggested investors from all over the world are interested in the fast-growing market.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has issued green bonds to support climate change mitigation and renewable energy in India.