Affordable wind energy not hot air
Cost of wind power is now on a par with price of coal-fired energy
Anyone thinking of setting up coal-based power projects may want to think again. The stratospheric rise in the price of imported coal and the shortage of the fossil fuel at home have given rise to a scenario once thought impossible: For the first time, the cost of wind power is now on a par with the price of coal-fired energy in some parts of India.
According to estimates of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the most efficient wind projects in India run at a cost comparable to new coal-fed plants. Some of the best renewable energy projects produce power at costs that vary from Rs 2.7 to Rs 4 per kilowatt-hour (Kwh), compared to a coal energy cost of Rs 1.9 to Rs 4.8 per Kwh. Industry experts say, on an average, across the country, the generation cost through wind would be around Rs 3.5 to Rs 3.6 per Kwh, compared to Rs 4 by coal. The comparison is only appropriate for new thermal plants, since old ones have had plenty of time to depreciate their assets used for generation, thus lowering costs as well as prices.