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India managed to save nearly $4 Billion in fuel costs through solar power in the first half of 2022: Report

According to the report, the contribution of solar power generation in seven key Asian countries – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand – saved around $34 billion in prospective fossil fuel costs from January to June 2022.

A report released on Thursday stated that India saved $4.2 billion in fuel costs via solar power generation in the first half of 2022, as well as 19.4 million tonnes of coal which would have further strained domestic supply.

The report, published by the energy think tank Ember, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, also examined the expansion of solar power over the last decade, discovering that five of the top ten economies with solar capacity are now located in Asia, including India, China, Japan, Vietnam, and South Korea.

According to the report, the contribution of solar power generation in seven key Asian countries – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand – saved around $34 billion in prospective fossil fuel costs from January to June 2022.

Image credit: EMBER Twitter (@/emberclimate)

This equates to 9% of total fossil fuel costs during this time period, according to the report.

“Solar energy saved India $4.2 billion in fuel costs in the first half of the year. It also avoided the need for 19.4 million tonnes of coal, which would have put additional strain on an already overstressed domestic supply,” the report stated.

The majority of the estimated $34 billion savings are found in China, where solar met 5% of total electricity demand and avoided approximately $21 billion in further coal and gas imports during the period.

Japan had the second-largest impact, saving $5.6 billion in fuel costs due to solar power generation alone.

Vietnam’s solar energy saved $1.7 billion in additional fossil fuel costs, which is a significant increase from nearly zero terawatt hours of solar generation in 2018. From January to June 2022, solar accounted for 11% (14 TWh) of total electricity demand.

The avoided fuel cost is still significant in Thailand and the Philippines, where solar growth has been slower, according to the report. Solar power generated 5% of the country’s electricity in the first half of the year, saving USD 1.5 billion in potential fossil fuel use.

According to Isabella Suarez, CREA’s Southeast Asia Analyst, Asian countries must capitalise on their tremendous solar potential in order to rapidly make the shift from expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

According to Vibhuti Garg, Director, South Asia at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, dependence on coal and gas imports in recent months has proven to be costly and unreliable.

“Transitioning to renewable energy, such as solar, can help reduce overall system costs while also alleviating consumer burden by lowering tariffs. It makes economic and energy sense for India and the rest of Asia to redirect investments toward building the renewable energy ecosystem,” Garg stated.

According to Aditya Lolla, Senior Electricity Policy Analyst at EMBER, India’s recent solar power push has not only improved its energy security but has also well-positioned its power sector to embark on a solar revolution.

“As the new draft National Electricity Plan suggests, India appears to be very bullish on solar power growth over the next ten years. So it seems very apparent that solar power will finally ramp up in India in the 2020s, kicking off India’s coal phasedown journey,” he asserted.

Notably, PM Modi who in October designated Gujarat’s Modhera as the country’s first fully solar-powered village has time and again stressed the significance of solar power which also reflects in his policies.

On October 30, PM Modi in his popular Mann Ki Baat program, said “Solar energy is the boon of the Sun God. Solar energy is a subject today, in which the whole world is looking at its future and for India, the Lord Sun has been at the centre of not only prayers but also the way of life for centuries. Today, India is connecting its traditional experiences with modern science, which is why today we have become one of the largest countries making electricity from solar energy. How solar energy is changing the lives of the poor and middle class of our country is also a case study.”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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