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Clean Power India Assigns Over 1 GW of Solar Power

Published on March 3rd, 2015 | by Smiti


Future Remains Positive Even As India’s Solar Power Capacity Addition Falls 12% In 2014

March 3rd, 2015 by  

The supposed drag in the renewable energy sector remained prevalent during 2014 as the central government changed in India. But the new government is expected to push for renewable energy expansion aggressively.

Solar power capacity added in India during 2014 was 883 MW, consulting firm Mercom Capital reported recently. This capacity addition was 12% lower than the 1,004 MW capacity added during 2013. The fall in capacity can be attributed to the lack of any large capacity auctions and the delay in commissioning of auctioned projects.

The central government (under the National Solar Mission) has not conducted an auction since October 2013 when 750 MW of solar photovoltaic power capacity was allocated in 2 segments of 375 MW each. These segments were differentiated on the basis of whether the projects would be allowed to use imported or Indian-made modules. The projects should have been commissioned in about a year’s time but the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has not issued any update on them.

Some states, like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, also auctioned significant solar power capacity over the last few months. Both these states, however, had their fair share of problems.

The erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into Telangana and today’s Andhra Pradesh, following a bitter political fight. This threw open a huge Pandora’s Box of administrative and legal hurdles for the project developers.

Tamil Nadu also had long-standing issues with project developers, who had secured the rights to develop a large number of solar PV projects. The project developers were not satisfied with the tariffs being offered by the state government, which were the lowest-ever in India. The tariffs have been renegotiated and developers have started to sign the power purchase agreements.

Mercom Capital expects that about 1,800 MW capacity would be added in 2016. This capacity might include projects from Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Punjab, in addition to the phase 2, batch 1 750 MW capacity auctioned in October 2013.

2016 will also see several 100 megawatts of solar power capacity auctioned by the central government. Additionally, several private project developers may also start working on the projects they have pledged to implement.

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About the Author

works as a senior solar engineer at a reputed engineering and management consultancy. She has conducted due diligence of several solar PV projects in India and Southeast Asia. She has keen interest in renewable energy, green buildings, environmental sustainability, and biofuels. She currently resides in New Delhi, India.

  • Alex Cha

    By viewing the title, I have an impression that India’s solar develop has slowed down a lot. When coming to the content, I know it is a different story. India’s solar development is really on fast track. Although this is something worth celebrating viewed from the surface, it leaves lots of problems to deal with any way. For example, where will the financial support come from? If the ruler changes, can the country still continue its development on solar power? You see, Modi is a person who advocates it and promotes it. Sure, I have also read many pieces of news about India solar, from which I learn that India is now bullish in developing solar power. Besides, to develop solar power, it needs large numbers of solar panels and qualified solar inverters, where should these products come from? I know there will be many companies from the West do the job. So, how about the domestic companies? This is indeed too far from the topic, but it is the concerns that should be addressed.

  • jburt56

    About 3.2 GW total?

    • Philip W

      Yes, India is just getting started.

      • jburt56

        The world as a whole is.

        • Philip W

          What I wanted to say with this is that India doesn’t have much to show right now concerning installed capacity. Other countries are a lot further progressed. But India is working hard to catch up.

  • JamesWimberley

    India has a much better excuse for its temporary fall in solar installation than Germany and Spain did for their engineered cuts. It is also much less significant in its impact on the global market, which grew at a healthy pace last year.

    • Shiggity

      India’s deficient infrastructure and crippling bureaucracy are not excuses. Every day they aren’t using solar power they have to use inferior coal.

      Bottom line is that every day they use coal instead of solar pv they are losing GDP.

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