Strategic shift: India's investments in solar have outpaced its coal investments, which reasserts the undeniable economic advantage for the former | Image credit: MercomIndia

In a first, India investing more in solar power than coal

A report by the International Energy Agency says India’s investments in renewable energy is outpacing those in fossil fuels – the main reasons being favourable government policies and the rapidly falling costs of bringing solar power online. While experts welcomed the trend, they expressed concerns over the sustainability of such a shift, with BP estimating that the country’s overall energy demand could double by 2040 because of the rising population and economic development.

This trend is not just limited to India, but has been observed in the Asia Pacific region as well. According to consultancy firm Rystad Energy, the region’s total capital expenditure on renewable energy is expected to rise above $30 billion by 2020, just surpassing the investment into exploration and production for oil and natural gas.

IEEFA: Shifting to solar-plus-storage big saver for firms grappling with loss-making coal units

A new study by IEEFA says the fast shrinking prices of solar + storage could save US utilities still reliant on coal power hundreds of millions of dollars. The analysis shows that solar + storage not only is cheaper than coal, but also offers lower LCOEs (Levelized Cost of Electricity) than new natural gas plants – which have caused coal plant shutdowns across the US.

EY: China tops most attractive renewables market list despite subsidy cuts

According to UK accountancy firm Ernst & Young (EY), China remains the most sought-after market for investment in renewable energy for the fourth year in a row. Renewable growth is set to continue despite the country’s efforts to trim subsidies, EY reported. Last year, cuts to China’s expensive feed-in tariff regime slowed growth in solar installations. Solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity additions fell to 44.3 gigawatts (GW) from a record 53 GW in 2017.

China to end wind subsidies by 2021

China will end subsidies for new onshore wind projects from 2021. China wants renewables to compete on an equal footing with coal- and gas-fired electricity, the country’s state planning agency said. China pays a relatively high tariff per kilowatt hour of electricity produced by wind or solar projects. The country has been promoting ‘grid price parity’ with traditional energy sources such as coal.

TANGEDCO to buy clean power from SECI

Tamil Nadu, one of country’s leading renewable energy states, will stop conducting auctions for wind and solar energy projects because of a poor response to its tenders, which set limits on tariffs. The state has decided instead to buy clean power from the Centre’s Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to fulfil TANGEDCO’s Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

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