Making it happen: Balance between solar and thermal energy
India’s strides in recent years to achieve its renewable goals should be accompanied by fair questions about costs and other disproportionate impacts. Tariffs of solar energy have plummeted to Rs 1.99 per unit from the high of Rs 14 per unit a few years ago. The overall energy sector is under stress but the demand for solar energy seems to be on the rise.
However, to say that renewable energy has already become cheaper than coal-based thermal energy, as Rahul Tongia from Brookings India put it, “masks…system-level costs as well as the disproportionate impact (it had) on selected States’ generators and stakeholders”. Accordingly, before blowing the victory bugle there is a critical need to examine the implications of what was happening.
What are the direct and indirect costs incurred due to shifting of focus on renewable energy?
Who is bearing this cost?
Is the manner in which the renewable energy mission was being rolled out in the country sustainable?
As former head of the Project Monitoring Group and Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Anil Swarup explains why it is imprudent to instal renewable plants at the cost of thermal energy.
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