At the moment, Madhya Pradesh, a state in India, has 202 MW of solar PV power capacity installed. However, it intends to crank that up to 1,400 MW by the middle of 2015. That is a bit ambitious. However, India has even bigger solar plans than that, such as a 4,000 MW plant, which would be the world’s largest. It also made a huge leap from 2 MW PV capacity in April 2012 to 202 MW today, and that is expected to increase to 220 MW by the end of 2013.
18 MW isn’t a tremendous increase, although it can still power 6,000 houses.
“In the second quarter of 2013, 191 MW of solar capacity was added in India, of which 145 MW was added in Madhya Pradesh, which is almost 80%,” said Mohanty.
According to PV Magazine, that is part of a much larger renewable energy initiative which involves the installation of 3,800 MW of clean energy projects planned for 2015. 1,900 MW of that will be wind power. Biomass will account for 300 MW, and small hydroelectric power stations 200 MW.
If this initiative is successful, 21.11% of the state’s electricity production capacity will be from renewable energy. In 2012, renewable energy stood at 5%.
S R Mohanty pointed out that: “There are currently 206 projects under execution, which will generate more than 4,000 MW of power through renewable energy.”
Some may argue that India has too much poverty to justify spending money on solar, and that the environment will have to wait. However, solar power costs have dropped tremendously in recent years and solar is actually the cheapest option for new electricity in locations off the grid all across the developing world. Off-grid installation and microgrid installations can take advantage of solar’s distributed and ubiquitous nature. With its solar resources, in India solar power is now cheaper than diesel. (It actually has been since 2011.)
Also, considering the economy, why should they spend even more money on imported oil (which requires foreign exchange of cash) while they have so much poverty? A major step to getting out of a bad financial situation is owning your own property. That is the same reason why one may save to buy a house, rather than pay rent for the rest of their lives.
If India is going to become economically strong, it should use its tremendous solar and wind resources to make sure it is generating as much of its own energy as possible.
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