Solar Energy – JNNSM, Solar Cities, Solar Pumps, etc.

India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : IRENA

Mains level : Solar power cost in India

  • India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar power globally, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018

  • The IRENA report revealed that the total installed costs of utility-scale solar PV in India is as low as $793 per kilowatt (kW) in 2018 which is 27 per cent lower than for projects commissioned in 2017.
  • Canada has the highest cost at $2,427 per kW.
  • IRENA analysed eight major solar PV markets from 2010 to 2018 which include China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
  • From the analysis, it is concluded that costs have dropped by 80 per cent in India.

Why low-cost solar power in India?

  • Typically, the cost of hardware including inverters account for more than half of the total cost of setting up a solar PV project in India.
  • India has high solar potential that leads to improved asset utilization.
  • India imports majority of hardware for installation from China which is cheaper and helps cut the cost by a huge margin.
  • As the cost of land and labor is cheaper than the rest of the world, it also contributes to low-cost production of solar power in India.


  • The IRENA is an intergovernmental organisation mandated to facilitate cooperation, advance knowledge, and promote the adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy.
  • It is the first international organisation to focus exclusively on renewable energy, addressing needs in both industrialized and developing countries.
  • It was founded in 2009 & its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010 and is headquartered in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
  • IRENA is an official United Nations observer.
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