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Less Smoke, More Mirrors: Where India Really Stands on Solar Power and Other Renewables

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  • David Wheeler and Saurabh Shome
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    Abstract

    Until recently, India’s intransigent negotiating posture has conveyed the impression that it will not accept any carbon emissions limits without full compensation and more stringent carbon limitation from rich countries. However, our assessment of India’s proposed renewable energy standard (RES) indicates that this impression is simply wrong. India is seriously considering a goal of 15 percent renewable energy in its power mix by 2020, despite the absence of any meaningful international pressure to cut emissions, no guarantees of compensatory financing, and a continuing American failure to adopt stringent emissions limits. If India moves ahead with this plan, it will promote a massive shift of new power capacity toward renewables within a decade. We estimate the incremental cost of this change from coal-fired to renewable power to be about $50 billion—an enormous sum for a society that must still cope with widespread extreme poverty. If India moves ahead with its current plan, it should give serious pause to those who have resisted U.S. carbon regulation on the grounds on that it will confer a cost advantage on “intransigent” countries such as India.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 204.

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    Length: 17 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:204

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    Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

    Related research

    Keywords: India; Solar Power; carbon emissions; renewable energy;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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    Cited by:
    1. Kevin Ummel, 2010. "Concentrating Solar Power in China and India: A Spatial Analysis of Technical Potential and the Cost of Deployment," Working Papers id:2807, eSocialSciences.
    2. Mona Haddad & Ben Shepherd, 2011. "Managing Openness : Trade and Outward-oriented Growth After the Crisis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2283, March.
    3. Nicole A. MATHYS & Jaime de MELO, 2012. "Reconciling Trade and Climate Policies," Working Papers P37, FERDI.

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