Wind power in India is now cost-competitive with coal-fired power generation for the first time, according to a new report from HSBC . This is great news since power outages are quite frequent in the populous country, and the unreliable grid sometimes leaves many millions of people without power.
The unfortunate part of the report shows that India now identifies water as a scarce natural resource as a result of heavy thermal power usage. This is why wind and solar are so appealing to India, due primarily to the fact that those renewable resources are available in plentiful quantities and require far less water consumption than coal, nuclear, or gas. Water shortages have actually caused thermal and hydro plants to partially close in the past.
The report also suggests that solar is not far behind the declining cost of wind, and it could be cost-competitive with coal as early as 2016. As we’ve previously reported, India has a goal to reach 9 gigawatts of grid-connected solar power by 2017, and so far, 1172 megawatts worth of projects are already in the works. At this rate, the savings could be more than originally anticipated.
While there is a lot of work to be done on the power grid to allow it to work with large amounts of wind power, it’s great to see India taking the initiative and working toward cleaner forms of energy. If India and Peru can do it, I think the rest of us can, too.