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An amount of USD 4.2 billion has been saved by India in fuel costs through solar power generation in the first half of 2022, and 19.4 million tonnes of coal which would have further stressed an already strained domestic supply, news agency PTI quoted a report released on Thursday.

The new report was released by the energy think tank Ember, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

After analyzing 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.

Seven key Asian countries, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand, avoided potential fossil fuel costs of approximately USD 34 billion from January to June 2022, which is equivalent to 9% of total fossil fuel costs during this period, as per the latest report quoted by PTI.

"In India, solar generation avoided USD 4.2 billion in fuel costs in the first half of the year. It also avoided the need for 19.4 million tonnes of coal that would have further stressed an already strained domestic supply," the report stated.

It also finds that the majority of the estimated USD 34 billion savings are in China, where solar met 5% of the total electricity demand and avoided around USD 21 billion in additional coal and gas imports during the period.

After China, Japan saw the second-highest impact with USD 5.6 billion in avoided fuel costs thanks to solar power generation alone. Vietnam's solar power avoided USD 1.7 billion in additional fossil fuel costs, a sizable growth from nearly zero terawatt hours of solar generation in 2018, according to the report, PTI quoted.

In 2022, solar accounted for 11% (14 TWh) of the electricity demand from January to June.

In Thailand and the Philippines, where the growth in solar has been slower, the avoided fuel cost is still notable, the report said, adding that the Philippines avoided USD 78 million in fossil fuel spending, despite solar accounting for only 1% of generation.

While solar only accounted for 2% of Thailand's electricity in the first six months of 2022, an estimated USD 209 million of potential fossil fuel costs were avoided, it added.

In South Korea, solar power generated 5% of the country's electricity in the first half of the year, avoiding potential fossil fuel use costing USD 1.5 billion.


(With PTI inputs)





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