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Good News For Climate Change: India Gets Out of Coal and Into Renewable Energy

“India has been aggressively pivoting away from coal-fired power plants and towards electricity generated by solar, wind, and hydroelectric power,” writes the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Lasrick shared their report:

The reasons for this change are complex and interlocking, but one aspect in particular seems to stand out: The price for solar electricity has been in freefall, to levels so low they were once thought impossible. For example, since 2017, one solar energy company has been generating electricity in the Indian state of Rajasthan at the unheard-of, guaranteed wholesale price of 2.44 rupees per kilowatt-hour, or 3 U.S. cents. (In comparison, the average price for electricity in the United States is presently about 13.19 cents per kilowatt-hour, and some locations in the country pay far more….) Consequently, with this massive reduction in the cost of renewables, India is able to shift away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel, and to much cleaner sources.

While western countries continue to baulk at reducing their reliance on fossil fuels, India is accelerating its plans to lock in a sustained, aggressive reduction in the carbon emissions intensity of its economy. In fact, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, is targeting a fivefold expansion of the electricity generated from renewable energy sources by 2030 — and this from a country that has already doubled its renewable energy in the past three years. This means that India is committed to more than meeting the goals of its national contributions in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement; it is going to “overdeliver,” in the parlance of economists… What’s more, the Indian government’s plans include a progressive expansion of electric vehicles, putting the country on a path to progressively reduce reliance on expensive, high emissions oil imports….

As India benefits from the shift to domestic renewable energy, other emerging market nations are watching, keen to leverage the same benefits for their own countries. And therein lies a key path to global decarbonization and a much-needed solution to limit global warming.

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