Assessing Risk and Cost in India: Solar's Trajectory Compared to Coal

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body-risk-and-cost-solars-trajectory-compared-to-coal.jpg Only months after the world's largest electricity blackout, which left over 600 million people in the dark, the energy supply gap in India has reached a level that jeopardizes the country's economic growth prospects and national security. Last July, average peak demand exceeded supply by 10.5 gigawatts (GW), or roughly 8.1 percent, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). In January, demand exceeded supply by 8.4 GW, or roughly 9.9 percent. In 2006, India's Integrated Energy Policy developed by the country's central Planning Commission estimated that installed energy capacity in the country would need to reach 960 GW by 2031-32 in order to support 9 percent annual GDP growth. As of January 2013, India's installed capacity base stood at only 213 GW, implying that almost 37 GW of new generation capacity (the equivalent of 37 nuclear power plants) would need to be commissioned each year for the next two decades in order to meet this target.