Indian cleantech sector is growing the fastest

To Cleantechies : ” Renewable energy investments in India increased by more than 52 percent in 2011, the fastest growth among major global economies, according to a new report.”

More than $10.3 billion was invested in renewable energy projects in India last year, with about $4.6 billion targeting wind energy projects and another $4.2 billion going toward solar projects. “

This could be just the beginning as the New Scientist gives many reasons why renewable energy sources – and especially solar – are due to keep growing and growing.

Indeed, it notes that :

(t)he price of solar panels fell by almost 50 per cent in 2011. They are now just one-quarter of what they were in 2008. That makes them a cost-effective option for many people in developing countries.

A quarter of people in India do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency’s 2011 World Energy Outlook report. Those who are connected to the national grid experience frequent blackouts.

To cope, many homes and factories install diesel generators. But this comes at a cost. Not only does burning diesel produce carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change, the fumes produced have been linked to health problems from respiratory and heart disease to cancer.

Now the generators could be on their way out. In India, electricity from solar supplied to the grid has fallen to just 8.78 rupees per kilowatt-hour compared with 17 rupees for diesel.

The drop has little to do with improvements in the notoriously poor efficiency of solar panels: industrial panels still only convert 15 to 18 per cent of the energy they receive into electricity. But they are now much cheaper to produce, so inefficiency is no longer a major sticking point.

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