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Published on July 30th, 2012 | by Jake Richardson


1,000 MW of Solar Milestone Passed in India

July 30th, 2012 by  


A hearty congratulations is in order for India. It has just surpassed the 1,000 MW mark for installed photovoltaic solar power. Were there celebrations? It seems at times we don’t acknowledge the achievements in renewable energy that are taking place. Rather, the general perception seems to be one of attempting to fill up an enormous hole. (David Brower was reputed to have told fellow activists to allow themselves some enjoyment on their journeys, or else they would suffer too much.) These renewable energy achievements are taking place amidst economic struggles around the world, and one might imagine, given the overall gloom, they are not being recognized enough.



Most of the solar capacity is in Gujarat, and there is also an additional 85 MW of off-grid PV solar. Gujarat Solar Park currently has scores of solar installations totaling about 600 MW, and it is planned to soon expand that capacity to about 1,000 MW. The largest individual solar park there is Charanka, with about 200 MW, which is expected to grow to 500. Gujarat might have 10,000 MW in a decade, said one local official, but this estimate may be too optimistic.

For the current fiscal year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has set goals of adding another 800 MW of solar and 2,500 of wind. Also, the overall goal of 20,000 MW of solar by 2022 has been discussed, but even that would be only about 5% of India’s power-generating capacity.

Off-grid solar might swell to 1,000 MW installed per year by 2016.

Replacing diesel generators and coal-burning plants would certainly reduce air pollution, and that would likely to be a better long-term economic strategy. Importing fuel that also pollutes the air is hardly a solution, though it has been common practice.

Recently a survey found India to be ranked number one in sustainable behaviors. Hopefully that will lead to a lot more solar.

Image Credit: Uday Parmar

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Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

  • Pingback: Winnipeg Violent T-Storm and India’s Blackout: Welcome to the Climate-Energy Era « Adam M. Johnston, B.A.()

  • With the GIGANTIC blackouts India has just endured point to the need for more solar PV and more wind.  Sadly, none of the news reports on this even mentioned renewable energy — they were all about a more robust grid and more coal, gas and nuclear power plants…  Sheesh.


    • Bob_Wallace

      Just to share some info. The report I last heard said that the problem was a lack of enough coal. Apparently there is adequate generation but not enough fuel.

      eta: Obviously a lot more wind and/or solar would make the coal go further. (Along with other good stuff.)

      •  Right, and they have a huge problem of theft of electricity, and they are in a drought and they are over-pumping water.  Burning coal is terrible for climate change and gas and nuclear are hardly any better.

        I hope the example of solar PV leads them (and all of us) to move asap to renewables.


        • Bob_Wallace

          Electricity theft and transmission loss because of grid problems are constants.  The monsoon is off about 19% so pumping is higher than normal.  But the big problem (today’s explanation) was a fuel shortage.

          Having spent time in India I won’t be surprised if a different reason surfaces later.  

          I do expect to see India install a lot of solar.  

    • totally. it’s insane. and largely comes down to an ignorance of how our energy systems work, and how our climate works.

  • Nrmantena

    It is really commendable that the progressive state of Gujarat has achieved
    so much in renewable energy and, in the process, saved its residents
    a lot of blackouts. It is not clear why the other states are not able to progress as much in this energy-starved nation that has the highest potential for converting solar energy into the much-needed electric power.
    Is it the culture, or a sense of helplessness in country besieged with
    many intractable problems.  Dr. NR Mantena, LA Southwest College

    • Bob_Wallace

      Affordable solar is a recent development.  That one state would get ahead of others is not surprising, major changes rarely start everywhere at once.  More often one area/group proves the concept and then others follow.

      Germany is now showing the way to other countries when it comes to large scale solar installations.  Other countries went first with wind.Perhaps the largest need now is to spread the message.  Something that one in the education business might know how to assist.  India certainly does not lack an abundance of smart individuals who are looking for opportunity.  What they likely need are clear routes to get a solar business underway.

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