Clean Power

Published on December 25th, 2014 | by Anand Upadhyay


India Announces 1,300 MW Solar Projects To Support Domestic Manufacturers

December 25th, 2014 by  

Close on the heels of announcing Ultra Mega Solar Power projects of 21,000 MW, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (India) has approved another scheme for installation of 1,000 MW of grid-connected solar power projects by Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) and government organisations.

This capacity is planned to come up during 2015–2018, and will be supported using a “Viability Gap Funding” (VGF) which is expected to cost the state exchequer Rs10 billion ($160 million). VGF support will be made available to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy from the National Clean Energy Fund operated by Ministry of Finance.

Indian flag

The Cabinet also gave its approval for setting up over 300 MW of grid-connected solar PV power projects by defence establishments and paramilitary forces in the country. This will again draw funds from the NCEF, to the tune of Rs7.50 billion ($120 million).

Both of these schemes have a mandatory clause for using domestically manufactured PV cells and modules and have been drafted to help the domestic manufacturers who have time and again raised concerns over underpriced Chinese panels. Increasing the manufacturing base of solar power is one of the stated objectives of India’s National Solar Mission.

Not wanting to disturb the growth trajectory of solar power, and due to concerns over the US dragging India to the WTO, the Indian government had earlier decided to not proceed with solar dumping duties against a host of countries (including the US). However, at the time, Piyush Goyal (India’s Minister of Energy) was quoted as saying, “We will ensure domestic manufacturers are taken care of. I make a public assurance that the government won’t be found wanting in picking up whatever you produce.”

As WTO rules do not apply to a nation’s defense and government programs, India decided to adopt this route to support and nurture its domestic solar manufacturing industry. Consequently, PSUs such as NTPC, NHPC, CIL, Indian Railways, and also the Defense sector have announced some big projects during the recent period.

Currently, India is in the process of amending its electricity laws to promote renewable energy.

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About the Author

is an Associate Fellow with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI, New Delhi) - an independent, not-for-profit research institute focused on energy, environment, and sustainable development. Anand follows the Indian solar market at @indiasolarpost. He also writes at SolarMarket.IN. Views and opinion if any, are his own.

  • K.Periasamy

    We hear lot of news on Megawatts of solar installations from this site. I have never seen any news about the quantum of electricity produced from these solar power plants ! It is better if these “experts” on solar energy bring about the actual Plant Load Factors achieved by these solar power plants in the past 3 years.

    • We certainly can’t report on generation from projects which are still in the planning phase 😀

      Follow the link for solar power generation data from the projects under the Indian National Solar Mission –

      CUF, technology-wise comparisons etc. are quite easily available online. As easy as a Google search I would say!

      • K.Periasamy

        That way, whatever information you have provided is also available elsewhere. What I have mentioned is that in this EIA website, I have always been seeing only the “so much Mega Watts of Solar power installed”. Never they inform at what PLFs these solar power plants are operating and what is the comparison with that of others. Also, it will be better if they inform how the grids are managing the peak loads in the absence of these solar power plants in the evening hours. Just creating capacities is not the purpose ! For the benefit of the readers, can EIA publish a report on the PLFs of the solar power plants commissioned so far in the past 3 years ?

        • Bob_Wallace

          You can go to the EIA annual electricity report and look at capacity and production numbers.

          I’ve never seen performance reports for specific solar farms. These are generally private contracts between businesses and not publicly reported.

        • I do a monthly report on electricity generation from all sources in the US. Am working on one now.

          There’s also a nice chart out there showing that as capacity goes, generation goes up in parallel. It’s obvious, but it’s nice to see. Of course, like an power plant, these have a capacity factor. Nothing new there…

  • Shane 2

    ***Both of these schemes have a mandatory clause for using domestically manufactured PV cells and modules and have been drafted to help the domestic manufacturers who have time and again raised concerns over underpriced Chinese panels.***
    Waiting for the howls of outrage from the free market extremists here on Cleantechnica.

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