India has a Solar Mission to install 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022. Solar electricity is already cheaper than electricity produced with diesel generators.
These optimistic figures from India, the second most populated country in the world, has led the New Scientist magazine to write an in-depth article about it saying that India’s solar power revolution could have a ripple effect across the globe.
Solar panel prices fell by nearly 50 percent in 2011 and now they cost just one-quarter of what they did in 2008. This is good news for a good slice of the Indian population, one quarter of which lacks access to electricity. But electricity connection is not reliable, hence the use of diesel generators as backup power, increasing India’s share of greenhouse gases.
Solar electricity has fallen to 8.78 rupees per kilowatt hour (against 17 rupees for diesel-generated power) due to falling production costs. Acording to a Bloomberg News Energy Finance specialist, solar is now cheaper than diesel wherever it’s as sunny as Spain, which includes many parts of the world such as chunks of Latin America, Africa and Asia. Analysts say that by 2015 solar electricity will be as cheap as grid electricity in half of all countries.