About 1,000 MW of solar power capacity is expected to be installed in India this year. This capacity addition will be consistent with the capacity added in 2013 and 2012. This estimate is much lower than the earlier estimated capacity addition of 2.8 GW.
Consulting firm Mercom Capital Group has predicted that about 1,000 MW capacity will be added to India’s solar power capacity. The firm, however, believes that none of this capacity will come from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. According to the firm, due to regulatory hurdles and policy delays owing to the national elections, there will not be any contribution from the solar mission.
A significant amount of the new capacity is likely to come from the state solar power programs. A number of projects are likely to be commissioned in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. This includes the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the country. Projects approved under the Rajasthan solar policy may also be commissioned. Some projects from Karnataka may also be commissioned, which has completed two rounds of auctions under its solar power policy. A utility-scale project may also be commissioned in Odisha. A large-solar PV solar power project being built in Maharashtra is also scheduled to be commissioned some time in the near future.
But there could be significant addition from the solar thermal power sector as well. Seven solar thermal power projects were allocated under the first phase of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Only one of these projects has been commissioned so far. The other six are scheduled to be commissioned this year but some of the project developers are fighting for another extension of the commissioning deadline.
Even with the announcement, partial implementation of the National Solar Mission, and numerous state solar power policies in India, the growth in annual capacity addition in the country has been minimal. Some of the biggest state programs have run into delays due to exceedingly low tariffs for the projects. About half of the capacity allocated under the first phase of the solar mission (in the form of solar thermal power projects) have not been commissioned. Additionally, the implementation of the Renewable Purchase Obligation has not been up to the mark to encourage project developers to make significant investments.
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