With 1.3 billion people, India is the world’s third largest consumer of electricity. 450 million ceiling fans are running and 40 million sold each year. Indians use 8x as much electricity as they did fifty years ago. Demand for power is growing at the same rate as in France and Germany.
India has forsaken coal and is converting to renewables aggressively. It is building 38 solar parks across 23 states to meet its goal of sourcing 100GW of renewable energy from solar within 4 years. Last year, solar power became cheaper than grid generated power for most C&I customers in India.
Last month, the state of Gujarat approved the world’s largest solar park, 5GW. The project will cover 27,181 acres along the Gulf of Khambat and will attract $3.84B in investments while providing work for over 20,000 people…
Of the 14 largest solar parks under construction in the world, five are in India; two of the world’s largest operating solar parks are in India.
India’s annual solar manufacturing capacity is about 3 GW while demand is about 20GW.
The balance must be procured on the international market, according to a statement from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in December. With China’s pull back on production, India will benefit most from the temporary price drop in modules, expected to go below $0.29 per watt.
The US, once the clear leader in clean energy R&D, has ceded the role. Trump’s 2019 budget will cut “the Energy Department’s renewable-energy and energy-efficiency funding by about 75 percent and kill ARPA-E altogether…. The administration wants to eviscerate several clean-energy loan-guarantee programs as well. Even if Congress staves off some of those cuts, Trump, by rolling back clean-power regulations and withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, has undermined market forces that could spur invention.”