Washington: India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change, the World Bank has said, noting that the solar power is gradually displacing coal as an energy source in the Asian country.
"With a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives to supply its people with 24x7 electricity by 2030, India is emerging as a front runner in the global fight against climate change," the World Bank said in a news report published on Friday.
According to the bank, with its conscious choice to use significantly more clean energy to fuel its growth, India is contributing to global efforts to save the planet from the effects of climate change.
Just a few weeks ago, the country also walked away from plans to install nearly 14 GW of coal-fired power plants, largely because it is as affordable now to generate electricity with solar power as it is to use fossil fuels, the report said, praising the Indian move in this regard.
"In India and beyond, solar power is starting to displace coal as an energy source," the bank said, adding that the cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) is currently a quarter of what it was in 2009 and is set to fall another 66 per cent by 2040.
With nearly 300 days of sunshine every year, India has among the best conditions in the world to capture and use solar energy, it noted.
"Clearly, the market agrees, as is evident from the significant drop in the cost of solar power. In its latest solar auction, the country achieved a record low tariff of INR 2.44/unit (4 cents/unit) for a project in the desert state of Rajasthan," the report said.
Noting that the Indian government is setting ambitious targets that include 160 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar by 2022, the bank said that not only will this help hundreds of million people light their homes it will also enable children to study at night, provide families with refrigerators to preserve their food or TVs to entertain themselves.
"It is also an incentive for international firms to invest in India's solar market," the bank added.