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India saved more than USD 4 billion in fuel costs from solar energy from January to June: Report

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India a $4.2 billion savings in fuel costs from solar in the first half of 2022 and 19.4 million tons of coal, which, according to a new report released Thursday, would have stressed an already strained domestic environment even more. offer.



The report from energy think tank Ember, the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis also analyzed the growth of solar energy over the past decade and found that five of the top 10 economies with solar capacity are now in. Asiaincluding India, China, Japan, South Korea and Vietnamese.

The contribution of solar energy in seven key Asian countries — India, China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand — avoided the potential fossil fuel costs of about $34 billion from January to June 2022, it said. report.

This is equivalent to 9 percent of the total cost of fossil fuels over this period, it added.

“In India, solar power generation avoided $4.2 billion in fuel costs in the first half of the year. It also avoided the need for 19.4 million tons of coal, which would further exacerbate the already overstretched domestic supply. under pressure,” the report said.

The report finds that the bulk of the estimated $34 billion in savings is in China, where solar energy provided 5 percent of total electricity demand and prevented about $21 billion in additional coal and gas imports over the period. .

Japan saw the second largest impact, with $5.6 billion in fuel costs avoided, thanks to solar power generation alone.

Vietnam’s solar has avoided $1.7 billion in additional fossil fuel costs, a significant growth from nearly zero terawatt-hours of solar in 2018. In 2022, solar accounted for 11 percent (14 TWh) of January’s electricity demand. until June.

The report said that in Thailand and the Philippines, where solar growth has been slower, the avoided fuel costs are still remarkable.

Although solar accounted for just 2 percent of Thailand’s electricity in the first six months of 2022, an estimated $209 million in potential fossil fuel costs was avoided, it added.

The Philippines avoided $78 million in fossil fuel spending, despite the fact that solar accounts for only 1% of generation.

In South Korea, solar energy generated 5 percent of the country’s electricity in the first half of the year, avoiding potential fossil fuel use, which the report said would cost $1.5 billion.

CREAs South East Asia analyst Isabella Suarez said Asian countries need to tap into their huge solar potential to quickly move away from expensive and highly polluting fossil fuels.

The potential savings from existing solar power alone are huge, and accelerating their deployment alongside other clean energy sources such as wind will be critical to the region’s energy security. While ambitious goals are important, following them will be key to looking ahead, she said.

Vibhuti Garg, director of South Asia at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said reliance on coal and gas imports has proved expensive and unreliable in recent months.

“Moving to renewable energies such as solar can help reduce overall system costs and also reduce the burden on consumers by lowering tariffs. For energy security and economic reasons, it makes sense for India and the rest of Asia to redirect investment. bend towards building the renewable energy ecosystem,” she said.

Aditya Lolla, Senior Electricity Policy Analyst at EMBER, said India’s push on solar in recent years has not only improved energy security, but has positioned the energy sector well to start a solar revolution.

“India also seems very optimistic about the growth of solar energy in the next 10 years, as reflected in the new draft of the National Electricity Plan. So it looks very likely that in the 2020s solar energy will finally increase in India and start India’s journey towards coal phase-out,” he said.

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