India has achieved another milestone in its quest to rapidly expand its solar power infrastructure.
The installed solar power capacity in India has crossed 3 GW mark, it was reported last week. The announcement came from the Mercom Capital Group that tracks renewable energy developments in India. In a report, the Group stated that about 730 MW capacities has been added this year so far, and the full calendar year capacity expansion is expected to be around 800 MW.
The would be a significant decline in annual capacity addition compared to last year’s 1 GW. The 20% decline this year has been attributed to the delay in land acquisition owing to bureaucratic freeze during the run-up to, and during the general elections during the first half of the year.
The installed capacity inched closer to 1 GW when two big solar thermal power plants were commissioned earlier this month. The two projects, commissioned after delay of about 18 months, added 150 MW.
Next year, a number of solar photovoltaic power projects are expected to be commissioned. These will include the projects auctioned by the central government under the National Solar Mission with a total capacity of 750 MW. Additional capacity would also be added in the form of projects auctioned under the state solar power policies over the last few months.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had recently increased the capacity addition target to 15 GW over the next three to four years. The Ministry is also working on a hugely ambitious plan to add 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022. The initial target under the National Solar Mission was 22 GW by 2022.
The government will supplement the auctions with several other policy initiatives to promote solar power capacity expansion. The government has announced plans to install 20 GW capacity through 12 ultra mega solar power projects each with a minimum capacity of 500 MW. The Renewable Purchase Obligation is also expected to be revamped in order to increase the demand for solar power, and renewable energy as a whole.
Image Credit: Gujarat Power Corporation Limited
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