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Madhya Pradesh boasts cheapest solar power

Posted: 14 Aug 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar power  solar energy  solar panel  Madhya Pradesh 

Where can you find the cheapest solar power in the world? Where else but in India.

To be more specific, it's in Madhya Pradesh.

The Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company received positive responses for projects it bid recently, with companies offering to sell solar energy to the state for as low as $0.08 (Rs 5) per unit for a period of more than 20 years, Hindustan Times reported.

Experts say that the rate is a little lower than the global average price of $0.9 (Rs 6.10) per unit. It is also much lower than the price that the Delhi government pays to thermal power companies.

In recent years, solar power cost has declined all over the world, which is attributed to an increase in Chinese export of cheap photovoltaic cells. This has resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in solar panel cost over the last five years. Another reason for cheaper power is the increased efficiency of the panels, where conversion of solar energy into electricity has advanced to 18 per cent from 13 per cent.

India, which has seen the fastest decline in the price of solar power, gained much from the Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission that was launched in 2010. Back then, a unit of solar energy costs $0.26 (Rs 17).

The decline of solar power is expected to continue in the years to come, according to the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as other states such as Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh also request bids for their respective projects.

One senior ministry official even noted how Madhya Pradesh became the tipping point for solar power to become cheaper than thermal power across the country by 2016.

With falling prices and increasing efficiency, solar technology is slowly getting the attention of the world, according to Arunbha Ghosh, CEO of the Centre for Energy Environment and Water. He also said that solar energy will soon power gadgets and devices in the home such as computers.

However, pundits advise that corrective policy initiatives should be put into place so that solar technology can fully progress.

- Stephen Padilla

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