India Saved $4.2 Billion In Fuel Cost Through Solar Energy In The First Half Of 2022: Report


In India, solar generation avoided $4.2 billion in fuel costs in the first half of the year, according to a new report released on Thursday. Solar power also avoided the need for an additional 19.4 million tonnes of coal which would have further stressed the already strained domestic supply, the report said.

A report published by energy think tank Ember, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, analysed the growth of solar power over the last decade. The report found that five of the top 10 economies with solar capacity are now within Asia, including China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Solar generation in seven Asian countries avoided potential fossil fuel costs of approximately $34 billion from January to June 2022, the report said. This is equivalent to 9 per cent of total fossil fuel costs during this period. China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand are among the countries. 

The report said that in China, where solar power meets 5 per cent of the total electricity demand, around $21 billion in additional coal and gas imports were avoided. This pushed China’s estimated savings to $34 billion.

Avoiding $5.6 billion in fuel costs, Japan was the second biggest beneficiary of solar generation. Vietnam’s solar generation avoided $1.7 billion in additional fossil fuel costs, a sizable growth from nearly zero terawatts hours(TWh) of solar generation in 2018. 

The report said that in Thailand and the Philippines, where the growth in solar has been slower, the avoided fuel cost is still notable. While solar only accounted for 2 per cent of Thailand’s electricity in the first six months of 2022, an estimated $209 million of potential fossil fuel costs were avoided. The Philippines avoided $78 million in fossil fuel spending, despite solar accounting for only 1 per cent of generation.

As per the report, South Korea avoided potential fossil fuel use costing $1.5 billion. Solar power generated 5 per cent of the country’s electricity in the first half of the year.

CREA’s Southeast Asia Analyst Isabella Suarez said, Asian countries need to tap into their massive solar potential to rapidly transition away from costly and highly-polluting fossil fuels. The potential savings from existing solar alone are enormous, and expediting their deployment alongside other clean energy sources such as wind, will be crucial for energy security in the region. While ambitious targets are important, follow-through will be the key thing to watch moving forward.


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