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India Speeds Solar Auction, Approves $4.1 Billion for Sustainable Transportation

India’s massive power outage in July, the world’s largest, is energizing the nation’s interest in solar energy and clean transportation.

Not only is India’s government speeding auctions related to 3,000 megawatts (MW) in solar plant development between now and 2017, but it is planning an investment of up to $4.1 billion to help spur electric and hybrid vehicle production.

New Solar Subsidy?

Auctions for up to 1,000 MW in planned new capacity could be held before the end of the current fiscal year, reports Bloomberg.

India’s National Solar Mission calls for the country to produce 10% of its energy –20,000 MW — with solar sources by 2022. Right now, at least half of India’s power comes from coal-fired power plants.

India’s solar auctions give the lowest bidder the right to supply energy. Most of its existing capacity about 1,040 MW was built in the last 12 months; another 3,000 MW could be constructed between 2013 and 2017.

India has used auctions, along with tariffs and power-bundling arrangements as development incentives to encourage solar development – which helped reduce the cost of solar power by 38% between 2010 and 2011. It is now considering some form of subsidy, Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Bloomberg
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