‘Flexible’ power system key to renewables push

‘Flexible’ power system key to renewables push

The drop in renewable energy tariffs in India is one of the true success stories of the last few years. From around 10-12/kWh in 2010, solar tariffs have come down to 2.5-3/kWh. Wind tariffs have fallen from 4.5-5/kWh to a similar range as solar. There is no longer any doubt that renewables are cheaper than new coal, and indeed cheaper than large shares of the existing coal fleet.

India stands before the real prospect of being the first country in history to power its development through an early leap into renewables. The UK in the 19th century and China in the 20th century powered their economies first with coal, and only cleaned up after they became relatively wealthy.

However, while the battle on costs is won, the next one is just beginning. Renewables such as wind and solar produce only when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining (in technical parlance, they are “non-despatchable”). Read More

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