Two gigawatts (GW) worth of new large-scale solar energy projects will soon be constructed in the nation of India, according to the country’s finance minister Shri Chidambaram.
During his interim budget speech earlier this week, Chidambaram stated that, given the success of India’s JNNSM national solar mission so far, the government was now aiming to see the development of four more large-scale solar energy projects during 2014–2015 — each with a capacity of over 500 MW.
Current reports are that the four projects will be located in Jammu, Kashmir, Rajasthan, and Gujarat — and that they will form part of the JNNSM.
PV Tech provides more:
Plans are already underway in India for a multi-stage 4 GW ultra mega solar power project in Rajasthan. Six companies involved in the project signed a memorandum of understanding on the project last week.
However, there are concerns the latest round of “ultra mega” projects may be difficult to finance under the JNNSM’s payment mechanism. The Indian government is already considering project bids for 750 MW of PV available under the first batch of the second round of the JNNSM, which will be supported through a ‘viability gap funding’ mechanism.
Renewable energy consultant Ritesh Pothan questioned whether this mechanism would enable the 2 GW of projects proposed by the minister to go ahead promptly, as there are concerns over the likely speed of payouts under the viability gap funding process.
Pothan also raised the questions of whether or not developers will be able to raise finance at the low government rates, and whether or not such large projects are politically viable given the elections approaching in May. It’s very likely that the current government is going to be booted then, according to most analysts.
“Putting this together at such short notice will be difficult,” Pothan concluded.
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