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Renewables could halve India electricity costs, speed path to net zero

October 08, 2021


India could cut its overall cost of electricity in half and reach net zero before 2050 by developing a 100% renewable energy power system, according to a power system modeling study by Wärtsilä and the Finnish Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology.

The modeling shows that increasing the share of renewable energy in the overall installed power capacity from 25% today to 100% by 2050 could cut the cost of meeting electricity demand by 48%, from INR 6,000 ($81)/MWh in 2020 to INR 3,120/MWh in 2050. This cost, also referred to as overall system cost, includes the levelized cost of electricity generation, the cost of energy storage, transmission interconnections, and the costs of curtailing surplus renewable generation.

Renewables, when paired with flexible generation technologies (thermal balancing power plants and energy storage), can improve the affordability of electricity while ensuring the reliability of system operations, according to the study. 

Power demand in India is expected to increase to 5,921 TWh (with 1,023 GW of peak demand), up 340% from 1,345 TWh in 2020. The modeling confirms that India can affordably meet this increased load through renewable energy, aided by low-cost solar.

[Uma Gupta]

More: Renewables system with 76% share of PV could halve Indian electricity costs by 2050

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