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Clean Power Jammu & Kashmir to add 7,500 MW solar power capacity

Published on March 10th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha


India To Add 7,500 MW Solar Power Capacity In Jammu & Kashmir

March 10th, 2014 by  

In what is one of the most ambitious plans to expand solar power capacity in India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently announced that it would set up 7,500 MW of solar power capacity in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The ministry, currently headed by the state’s former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, has signed an agreement with the state government to set up 5,000 MW capacity in Ladakh and 2,500 MW capacity in Kargil.

Jammu and Kashmir receives some of the highest solar radiation in the country. The state, however, faces a number of issues that have inhibited large-scale expansion of power generation sources. Lack of government focus on infrastructure expansion, due to decades-long insurgency, remote population centres, and mountainous terrain.

Ladakh, one of the most remote places in the country, is excessively dependent on fuel imports from other states. Solar power thus presents a tremendous opportunity for the region to attain energy independence and earn significant revenue by exporting electricity to large demand centres in North India.

Currently, Jammu and Kashmir does not enjoy a respectable standing in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. According to a recent report, the state has only 308 kW of solar power capacity installed. This is in comparison to over 2,200 MW solar power capacity installed across the country till January 2014. The state has managed to utilise only 10% of the small hydro power potential available and has no wind energy projects installed.

India plans to source 3% of it total electricity consumption from solar energy by 2022 and has been taking notable steps to increase solar power capacity. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has announced plans to set up a number of multi-developer solar parks across the country. Additionally, several states have announced ambitious solar power policies to attract investment and boost self-sufficiency in power generation.

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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.

  • Destination Kashmir

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    • Bob_Wallace

      Look at the top of the page for “About”. In the drop-down you’ll see
      “Our Team”. Click on Mridul’s profile and you’ll get a list of the articles he has written for CT.

      Also under “About” is “Contact”. You could send a “Something Else” request to Mridul to get links to work he may have published elsewhere.

      (I visited Kashmir on my first overseas trip about 35 years ago. I need to come back and see how things have changed. I imagine I’d recognize little.)

  • Matt

    Of course they currently have less than 0.5MW in those two states and give no timeline, so I guess it is a wait and see.

  • JamesWimberley

    This looks more sensible than the Ministry’s other plan to build a huge 4GW plant in the Rajasthan desert. One of solar’s main selling points is that above a few MW the unit costs are pretty flat, so you can build close to the demand and limit the need fro new transmission.

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