If solar power doesn't make sense in India...China isn't the only country that is making bigger bets on solar power. India's new prime minister, Narendra Modi, wants to use the sun to bring electricity to the 400 million people in India who do not have access to electricity.
“We look upon solar as having the potential to completely transform the way we look at the energy space,” said Narendra Taneja, who's in charge of energy in Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. There's a track record too, because Modi has pioneered India’s first incentives for large-scale solar power in 2009 as head of Gujarat state.
The goal would be to use solar panels to allow every home to have power to run two bulbs, a solar cooker and a television by 2019. That might not sound like much to those of us living in rich countries, but this can be life-changing to people who currently don't have access to electricity, as well as tremendously improve their health because burning biomass and coal for cooking and light creates a lot of dangerous indoor air pollution.
It shouldn't be too surprising to anyone that India has tremendous potential for solar power. If China can build 50,000 megawatts of capacity within a few years, India could get even more if only it truly become a priority.
This map show's how much solar energy is hitting the country:
This bounty from the sky should be harness to move away form India's heavy coal dependency.