25th January, 2016 (MAINS)


Q1. To what factors can the recent dramatic fall in equipment costs and tariff of solar energy be attributed? What implications does the trend have for the thermal power producers and the related industry?

[12.5marks/2015/GS-3] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Preeti Fci

    1.The fall in prices can be attributed to an increase in Chinese export of low-cost photovoltaic cells that has in turn led to an 80% drop in prices of solar panels over the last five years.
    2.Also, the efficiency of the panels to convert solar energy into electricity has improved from 13% to 18%, resulting in cheaper power.
    3.One more cause for fall in power tariff can be attributed to aggressive tariff bids of the project developers because of the rapid decrease in costs.
    4.Most of the patents in renewable energy were in the 1970s, which are off-patent now. So, India can go for domestic manufacture of solar panels.
    5.Due to this post 2020, coal prices could begin chasing solar prices and eventually, coal may have to respond by reducing its cost structure, which could be challenging for the coal sector if early preparation is not done.
    6.All forms of electricity generation that use fuel to generate electricity produce more waste heat than usable energy.
    7.There are also the costs of dealing with waste products, waste heat and other leftovers that cannot be avoided.
    8.PV solar will become cheaper each year while all thermal power can only get more expensive.

    • http://shashidthakur.com/ Shashi Thakur

      All the points are good. End statement could have been different but that is demanding too much from you. Still a good answer. All the best.

      • Preeti Fci

        Thnk u :)