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Clean Power Charanka Solar Park Gujarat, India

Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha

24

India’s Solar Power Capacity Tops 2,600 MW

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April 8th, 2014 by  

India is slowly building upon its installed solar power capacity, thanks to the comprehensive and ambitious National Solar Mission, state solar policies, and relatively increased enforcement of the Renewable Purchase Obligation. The country added almost 950 MW of solar power capacity between April 2013 and March 2014 (that is, FY2013-14).

Charanka Solar Park Gujarat, India

Charanka Solar Park Gujarat, India
Credit: Gujarat Energy Development Agency

The 56 percent increase in installed solar capacity witnessed in FY2013-14 was mainly due to projects commissioned under the state solar policies and the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) scheme. Of the 2,632 MW installed capacity till 31 March 2014, 50 percent operates under the state solar policies.

Gujarat remains the clear leader among all Indian states with an installed capacity of 916 MW, but added only about 58 MW capacity during the last financial year. While the Gujarat government has some ambitious and innovative plans to cover water canals with solar panels, the official tender documents seeking investments from developers have not been released yet. Thus, following the commissioning of one of the largest solar parks in the world, the Gujarat solar market has been relatively dormant.

The state of Madhya Pradesh took the lead in adding capacity in FY2014. The state added almost 310 MW of solar PV capacity, which included the largest solar power plant in Asia. The 130 MW solar PV project owned by Welspun Power was commissioned in February 2014 at a total cost of over $170 million. The state government had awarded 175 MW of solar power capacity to project developers under the state policy while over 165 MW capacity was commissioned directly by the project developers under the REC scheme.

The state of Rajasthan, second in overall installed capacity in India, added almost 180 MW capacity. This included India’s largest solar thermal power plant, which has a generation capacity of 50 MW. The project is among the seven solar thermal power projects auctioned under the first phase of the National Solar Mission. A huge majority of the balance 130 MW capacity was added directly by the project developers through the REC scheme.

During the current financial year (April 2014 to March 2015), capacity is expected to be added mainly under the state solar policies as a number of project developers would line up solar PV projects for commissioning allocated to them through auctions conducted by several state governments. The only projects under the central policy expected to the commissioned this year could be the six solar thermal power projects which have been delayed by about two years.

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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



  • viswanadh

    Hi. For 1 MW plant how much we have to invest approximately?

    • Bob_Wallace

      I don’t know the cost in India. In the US utility scale (large scale) solar now averages $1.81/watt or $1.8 million per MW.

      Our prices are still higher than some other countries. Prices are lower in parts of Europe with Italy installing for $1.30/watt. $1.3 million per MW.

      China has been installing for $1/watt, $1 million per MW a few months back. They may have dropped below the $1/watt by now.

      The only number I have for India is over a year ago. A solar park in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. This solar park was expected to be producing 100 MW goal by April 2014.

      The report says the project will cost 9.2 bn rupees, or $155 million, at $1.55 a watt.

      http://cleantechnica.com/2013/07/26/indian-solar-power-plant-100-mw/#comment-978218226

      You might check to see if any numbers were released after this project was (I assume) completed.

  • Sunit Patil

    this is the requirement in near future we have to utilize all natural resources with great efficiency, good one India keep it up………..!!!!

  • I_RIGHT_I

    I never thought I’d be glad to see a country install solar rather than nuclear.

  • JamesWimberley

    The central government programme, wedded to megaprojects in the Rajasthan desert, seems to be stalling while more flexible state programmes move ahead.

    “The 130 MW solar PV project owned by Welspun Power was commissioned in February 2014 at a total cost of over $170 million.” India is installing utility pv at €1.30 a watt.

    The numbers are for grid-connected solar, including urban rooftop. That leaves out off-grid rural installations, which with India’s patchy grid are likely to be significant, though hard to count.

    The linked article also reports that wind capacity has passed 20 GW.

  • dsfdsfsdsdf

    Does India (and 3rd world country in general) solar tend to have a higher capacity factor that Europe/US???

    I presume they are price sensitive. And with massive power shortages everywhere, you can locate in more suitable regions rather than best regulatory area.

    Any statistics on this ?
    Its very sad when solar has a CF of 16% ;(

    • A Real Libertarian

      “Does India (and 3rd world country in general) solar tend to have a higher capacity factor that Europe/US???”

      Yes, the tropics generally get more sun.

    • Ronald Brakels

      In Mumbai an optimally inclined solar panel will have a capacity factor of 26%, which is excellent. I am actually surprised it is so high as I though the haze would make it lower. Generally speaking, developing countries are much sunnier than Europe and also sunnier than the United States. But a capacity factor of 16% isn’t bad. At Australian installation prices and using 5% for cost of capital that will produce electricity at under 10 US cents a kilowatt-hour. At German installation prices it works out considerably better.

    • ak

      what could be the cost of installing 1 M W solar plant

      • Ronald Brakels

        What’s the cost of installing a 1 megawatt solar plant? Well, the article says a 130 MW solar farm cost over $170 million, so one megawatt should cost around one and a third million dollars. I think it won’t be long before India installs solar for a dollar a watt. In Australia we can install a megawatt of solar for about $2.4 million US but that would go on several hundred different roofs and compete with retail electricity prices. In India, since retail electricity prices are subsidised, they tend to build large scale utility solar farms instead.

        • ak

          thanks , how do u know about indian policies

          • Ronald Brakels

            I’m no expert, I just sometimes learn about what is happening in India as part of my general reading. India is the world’s second largest country and it’s not an exageration to say that the fate of the world rests upon the path India takes, so I like to have at least a rough idea of what’s happening there.

          • ak

            great , by the way i am frm india

          • Ronald Brakels

            I guessed you were. So you are an expert. If you ever catch me saying anything wrong about India, please correct me.

          • ak

            NO I AN’T AN EXPERT , I AM A STUDENT

          • Ronald Brakels

            You know a lot more about living in India than I do, so there is a huge amount that you know that I don’t even if you are a student. And maybe you’re not an expert now, but perhaps in a few years you will be.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are a caplock abuser. Knock it off.

          • ak

            sry

      • Sankar

        Rs. 11.1 Cr

        • Bob_Wallace

          That is not a helpful post. Few Americans (the majority of readers here) have any idea what the rupee is worth nor do they have any experience with crore or lakh.

          When posting on an American site it’s best to translate into dollars or euros.

          • A Real Libertarian

            $1,871,366.36 US.

          • ddmmrr

            Look it up. It won’t kill you.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Don’t be a jerk.

          • ISIS Leader

            A smart guy would just use Google and convert to his comfort. Trolls will just be trolls..Won’t they?

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