India can save $19.5 billion annually with shift from coal to clean power


India plans to add 76 GW of utility-scale solar and wind power by 2025, leading to savings of up to $19.5 billion a year versus burning coal, according to new research from Global Energy Monitor.

The report says data in the Global Solar Power Tracker and the Global Wind Power Tracker rank India in the top seven countries globally in terms of prospective renewable power. This buildout can avoid the use of almost 78 million tons of coal annually, or roughly 32 GW in coal power plant capacity, which is more new coal capacity than the country has added since 2018.

“Annual savings in India can skyrocket if the coal-to-clean switch matches the country’s ambitions. India plans to add an additional 420 GW of wind and solar power by 2030, which would increase the annual savings from avoiding coal power to more than $58 billion, with total savings reaching $368 billion by 2030,” states the report.

“If India were to bring online all of its planned utility-scale solar and wind projects, it would cost roughly $51 billion. But with a US$19.5 billion annual savings in direct fuel costs, India could pay for this in just two and a half years,” it adds. 

India accounts for 5% of all prospective utility-scale solar power globally, trailing only China, the U.S., and Australia, while placed 17th globally in prospective wind power capacity. 

Shradhey Prasad, project manager for the Global Wind Power Tracker, said, “Save money, slash emissions – India’s switch from coal to clean power is a win-win. A promising step towards meeting the country’s net zero emissions target by 2070, India will be richer and cleaner by quitting coal.”

“Costs for solar and wind power continue to plummet, and compared to volatile fossil fuel prices, renewables present a far better option for building new energy infrastructure.”

 The Global Wind Power Tracker catalogs 21,182 operating utility-scale wind farm phases generating 728 GW in 149 countries, and an additional 5,564 prospective projects that would generate 1,215 GW.

The Global Solar Power Tracker catalogs 6,139 operating utility-scale solar farm phases totaling 366 GW in 152 countries, and an additional 6,532 prospective projects that would have the potential to reach 979 GW. Utility-scale solar accounts for roughly 35% of total global solar capacity with the remaining 65% being residential and commercial installations.


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