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Scientists at IIT Kanpur plan to set up a 500 kW solar plant at the institute and focus on research aimed at reducing the price gap between solar power and energy from conventional sources.

When complete, the Rs 18-crore project — launched recently on a small plot, plans to supply free energy to six neighbouring villages.

Solar power in India currently costs about Rs 15 per kWh (kilo Watt hour), compared with an average of Rs 3.50 per kWh for electricity from the national grid largely produced by coal-fired thermal power plants.

Suggestions on how to reduce costs have already come in from many scientists, according to the Institute. The plan also involves building a productive relationship with industry for wider — and cheaper — production of solar power.

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