Clean Power

Published on August 20th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha


Indian State Of Andhra Pradesh Plans To Add 5,000 MW Solar Power Capacity by 2019

August 20th, 2014 by  

Gujarat Solar Park

An aerial view of India’s largest solar park in Gujarat, India

The south Indian state, which recently saw its boundaries redrawn, is drawing up a new renewable energy policy with an aim to attract investment and boost power generation capacity.

The state government is working on a comprehensive renewable energy policy that would see 5,000 MW of solar power and 4,000 MW of wind energy capacity installed by 2019. The policy is expected to be released in a month’s time. To kick off things, the government issued a tender for 500 MW solar power capacity last week.

Major government-owned companies are also planning to set up large-scale solar power projects. NTPC Limited and NVVN Limited have plans to install 1,000 MW of solar power projects in the state. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) Limited has signed an agreement with the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government to set up 1,000 MW solar power project in Mahbubnagar district. The district now falls in the newly separated state of Telangana.

Last year, the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government had floated a tender to set up 1.16 GW of solar power capacity across the state. The response was overwhelming, with prospective project developers submitting bids for 1.35 GW capacity. There has been no official word on the future of these projects following the division of the state.

The state also has significant wind energy potential. According to the Centre for Wind Energy Technology (India), the state has an installable wind power potential of about 14,500 MW at 80 meter hub height. The state had an installed wind energy capacity of less 800 MW by March 2014.

Ever since the division of Andhra Pradesh, the two new states have been claiming acute shortage of power supply and have been demanding assistance from the central government. Both the states are trying to outdo the other with ambitious announcements to increase infrastructure and attract investment.

Before the separation, the state had Renewable Purchase Obligation of 5%. The new government is yet to clarify if it intends to continue with the same target, or set a more ambitious one.

Image Credit: Gujarat Power Corporation Limited

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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.


    Nellore can be a potential district to harness solar energy in view of
    abundant sunshine and vast wasteland area in Andhra Pradesh.

    Solar irradiation data for Andhra Pradesh cities
    month wise:

    Andhra Pradesh is one of the few states blessed
    with more number of sunny days. The estimated potential is 5-7 KWH/Sq.m. per
    day which remains un-tapped for various applications like
    heating,lighting,power generation etc.

    Anantapur 5.22 6.05 6.5 6.44 6.07 5.02 4.57 4.62
    4.93 4.6 4.56 4.71 5.27

    Guntur 4.66 5.49 6.2 6.42 5.92 4.78 4.07 4.19 4.47
    4.3 4.49 4.44 4.95

    Nellore 4.78 5.71 6.5 6.61 6.11 5.11 4.74 4.81 4.97
    4.3 4.07 4.19 5.15

    Government of India

    Ministry of Rural Development

    Department of Land Resources

    New Delhi, India


    (Year 2000)

    (Area in Sq.Kms.)

    Total Wasteland Total Geographical Area

    Percentage of total Geographical Area.

    District Total Wasteland Total Geographical Area %
    of Total Geographical Area

    Ananthapur 3233.45 19130.00 16.9

    Guntur 1676.36 11391 14.72

    Kurnool 3879.14 17658 21.97

    Nellore 4918.18 13076.0 37.61

    There are plans to go in for solar projects in Ananthapur,Guntur,Cuddapah and
    Kurnool Districts . How about Nellore? Solar Irradiation in Nellore is much
    more than Guntur,Cuddapah and Kurnool. More over the wasteland available in Nellore
    District is far more than in Ananthapur. Also huge solar PV power plants need
    water to keep the solar panels clean. Nellore District is far better in ground
    water in many places compared to Ananthapur.

    Also AP Government is contemplating going in for canal top solar power
    on the Narmada Canal top in Gujarat. Here are some pertinent points on Canal
    Top Solar Project. Is the high cost of canal top solar justified when there is
    abundant land available? Also it is claimed that Evaporation of water to the
    tune of lakhs of litres ic avoided. How Evaopration is measured? Is it from
    stationary water or flowing water? Even in the area where the solar panels are
    installed,there is gap between panels through which evaporation of water takes

    Gujarat already leads in Wind energy being 3rd in the


    Capacity as on 31.03.2014(MW)

    Tamil Nadu





    Andhra Pradesh

    Madhya Pradesh




    Having long coast Andhra Pradesh can go in for offshore wind farms by
    undertaking wind analysis along some areas to identify the windy areas. Wind
    energy in AP(753 MW) is nowhere compared to the neighboring Tamil Nadu State(7253 MW).

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

  • Ravi Aluru

    30% Capacity Utilization on both fronts, 1% decay rate for panels. At least sun is predictable. Industries don’t shut down in the night. Go with hydro or. Best option nuclear with the French model

    • Bob_Wallace

      1% decay rate is too high by at least a factor of two.

      Panels manufactured post 2000 should drop performance less than 0.4% per year.

      Use solar when the Sun is out. Fill in with hydro.

      Nuclear is too danged expensive. Even the French have learned that. They’re starting the move to renewables.

      • Karn

        While the solar effort of the govt gets a lot of publicity . Nuclear is going to add the most capacity in the long to medium term . While new hydro projects in the north East as well as hydro projects in the Nepal and Bhutan are slated to be sources of most of the added capacity in the near term . Solar and wind will continue to grow but we need to moderate our expectations.

        • Bob_Wallace

          ” Nuclear is going to add the most capacity in the long to medium term”

          That’s not a bet I’d take. Remember, wind and solar have only very recently moved from more expensive than nuclear to considerably less expensive than nuclear.

          Large projects such as nuclear reactors take many years and develop momentum. Because of that nuclear might add capacity in the near term. But do consider the fact that economics could kill nuclear.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Industry doesn’t shut down in India at night, but it does pay for electricity during the day. That is, when it’s not running off diesel generators because the grid has gone down again. India needs more electric power and solar can meet a large portion of demand. When externalities are accounted for wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity in India and given the nation apparently has the lowest cost windpower in the world and low cost solar and excellent solar resources, renewables may be the cheapest new generating capacity even without taking externalities into account. Solar is by far the most competitive new capacity here in Australia.

  • Steve Grinwis

    9 GW is an ambitious target, no? This is going to require a lot of government subsidy, or something to hit.

    • Ronald Brakels

      No, it’s not a problem at all. Most of this capacity will probably be installed for a dollar a watt or less. And at that price and a 5% discount rate solar PV in India will produce electricity for under 5 cents a kilowatt-hour. When you add in the fact it won’t emit air pollution or greenhouse gases and produces electricity during the day when demand and prices are higher it’s quite a bargain.

      • Steve Grinwis

        I’ve not seen any models predicting $1 / watt installed prices anywhere by 2019. Do you have a source for that? That’d be awesome, but seems somewhat optimistic.

        • Ronald Brakels

          It’s been installed for $1.33 a watt in India already and it was being installed in China for $1.03 to $1.05 a watt and may have broken the $1 barrier by now. When I know for sure I’m planning to have a party. In Australia we’re doing it point of use for under $2 a watt which is supposed to be considerably more expensive than utility scale.

          Whether or not 5% is an appropriate discount rate to use for India, now that’s a good question. However, a higher discount rate will raise the cost of electricity from all new generating capacity.

          • eveee

            I wish the US would catch up with those residential prices. BOS is still high and falling.

        • Bob_Wallace

          “Yingli chief strategy officer Yiyu Wang said that project costs for its current pipeline of 130MW in utility-scale solar projects in China are about $1.03-$1.05 a watt.”

          “Wang suggested that Yingli would generate a return in the “higher mid teens” for these projects. “

          Jigar mentioned in a comment that a new US solar farm was being installed for less than $1.60/W. I failed to copy that down.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Wrong, I did…

            Jigar Shah (Formed SunEdison, first CEO of The Carbon War Room)

            “First Solar bid $1.56/Wp all in on a 10 MW project in the USA to be installed this year. I think they are below these BOS numbers”


            Some more low-low…

            A completely unsubsidized 250 MW solar energy project is currently being developed in the north-western region of Cádiz, Spain — near the town of Trebujena.

            The €275 million project will be built over a period of 2–3 years in five separate phases of 50 MW each. The first phase is expected to be connected by the end of 2015, and the final phase by the end of 2017.

            Once completed, the solar park will feature somewhere around 90,000 PV panels, which will generate about 420,000 MWh a year. That’s enough to power around 117,000 homes in the region, according to Tentusol.

            250 MW for €275 million.



  $1.43/watt in the sunny Southwest. Less than $0.06/kWh.

            Deutsche Bank said that although the market in Europe had contracted, at least one third of new, small to mid size projects were being developed without subsidies. Multi-megawatt projects were being built south of Rome for €90c/W. This was delivering electricity costs (LCOE – with 80 per cent self consumption) of around €80/MWh (€8c/kWh)


            €90c = $1.20

            Lark Energy reportedly installed a 33 MW solar farm in just 8 weeks for £35 million of £1.06 (approx $1.60 per watt)

            Developer Lark Energy has announced the successful completion, connection and commissioning of a 33MWp solar power project in Wymeswold Airfield, Leicestershire.

            The UK’s “largest solar farm”, worth at least £35 million, was constructed on a former World War II airfield, consists of 130,000 Trina Solar modules positioned on land between the old runways covering an area of approximately 61 hectares.

            The project was built in less than eight weeks


            Some of these reports are a bit old. I would guess that prices have dropped a bit since.

  • DGW

    A toilet and solar panel for every Indian home!

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