WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- Solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in 58 countries, with more capacity coming online that number’s only going to get bigger
China might be largest producer of solar energy in the world, but neighbouring India is equally ambitious. In the next few years the country’s expected to become the world’s third largest solar market after China and the USA and now they’ve closed the gap even more by bringing the world’s largest solar power plant online – a fleeting record it’ll loose in 2020 when Morocco’s Ouarzazate Noor cranks up to full capacity.
The Adani Group’s new site in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is huge, covering over 10 square kilometers and it’s got a capacity of 648 megawatts (MW) – nearly 100 MW more than the previous record holder, the Topaz Solar Farm in California.
The new plant took eight months to build, uses a staggering 2.5 million individual solar modules and cost a whopping $679m and it’s estimated it’ll produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes.
Made up of five solar power plants the project has helped push India’s total installed solar capacity across the 10 gigawatt (GW) mark – something that only a handful of other countries can claim. And as a signatory of the Paris Climate Accord India’s set to meet its renewable energy commitments three years ahead of time and exceed them by nearly half – by 2027 the country wants at least 60% of all of its electricity to come from non-fossil sources.
Today solar only accounts for 16% of India’s renewable energy capacity but by 2022 it’s set to contribute over half of their renewables target, in other words over 100 GW. So expect more, larger installations over the coming years – 33 solar parks in 21 states, with a capacity of at least 500 megawatts each in all – that’s what commitment looks like.
Matthew Griffin Global Futurist, Tech Evangelist, X Prize Mentor ● Int'l Keynote Speaker ● Disruption, Futures and Innovation expert
Matthew Griffin, Futurist and Founder of the 311 Institute, a global futures think tank, is described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers.” Recognised in 2013, 2015 and 2016 as one of Europe’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew mentors several XPrize teams, and is an award winning author, entrepreneur and international speaker who is regularly featured on the BBC, Discovery, Kurzweil, Newsweek, TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Working hand in hand with accelerators, investors, governments, multi-nationals and regulators around the world Matthew shines a light on the future and helps them transform their industries, organisations, products and services by demonstrating how the combination of democratised, and increasingly powerful emerging technologies, are helping fuel cultural, industrial and societal change that is transforming old industries and creating new ones. Matthew’s clients include Accenture, Bain & Co, Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, Boston Consulting Group, Dell EMC, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, E&Y, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Huawei, JP Morgan Chase, KPMG, McKinsey & Co, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Schroeder’s, Sequoia Capital, UBS, the UK’s HM Treasury, the USAF and many others.