The cost of solar electricity is now less than the cost of producing electricity from coal in India. This rapid decrease is helping the country move towards its ultimate goal of producing more renewable energy.
Back in 2010, India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission with the goal to increase renewable energy, including solar, in the country. The Indian government set a target to produce enough solar electricity to power more than 60 million homes.
To reach this target, India plans to produce 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022. It can be said that the country his already on this path as the world’s largest solar power plant is now producing electricity in the town of Kamuthi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India.
In 2015, India made international news as the first country to operate an airport completely on solar power. The Cochin International Airport had installed a solar plant on unused land around its buildings.
To top it all, later in 2016 India joined the Paris Agreement. This ambitious U.N. agreement is a promise by almost 200 countries to help slow climate change by 2030.
The U.S. Energy Information Commission ranks India as the fourth largest user of electricity globally. But this commendable record is flawed by the fact that millions still don’t have access to basic electricity.
An issue the country is urgently working on as it turns to cheap solar to increase its electricity production. India’s promise is to increase renewable energy to 40 percent while reducing the country’s high levels of pollution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has supported solar and other renewable energy sources. His government plans to increase solar power production from four gigawatts to 100 gigawatts by 2022, according to the World Resources Institute.