05 Dec '11, 6pm

Auctions Replace Renewable Energy Subsidies? India Auction Cuts Solar Costs 30%

India is one of a handful of countries using a novel approach to cut the cost of solar energy without subsidies - the lowest bidder gets the right to supply solar electricity. In India, those that bid the lowest in a reverse auction win the right to build solar plants up to 20 megawatts (MW) and sell the electricity under a 25 year contract. Winners are required to buy solar cells domestically. After the auction, they have seven months to arrange financing and 13 months to complete the plants, according to government guidelines . India's second solar auction took place December 2 and awarded 350 megawatts of capacity - 28 plants - to the lowest bidders. France's second largest solar producer, Solairedirect SA, came in with the lowest bid - $147 per megawatt-hour, and won the right to win a 5 MW plant. That's 30% cheaper than the average price for solar worldwide. Globally,...

Full article: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.disp...

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