The sun is shinning brightly for the western Indian state of Rajasthan, as commitments made by solar power project developers have overshot the state government’s capacity addition plans.
Some of the leading solar power project developers in the world and India have signed memoranda of understanding to set up 40 GW of solar power projects in the state over the next 5 years. The state government, which came to power about a year ago, has set a target to add 25 GW capacity over the next 5 years.
Some of the largest agreements signed by the state government include those with Adani Power (10 GW), Reliance Power (6 GW), SunEdison (5 GW), Essel Infraprojects (5 GW), IL&FS (5 GW), and Azure Power (1 GW).
The ambitious policy by the Rajasthan government replaces the central government’s initiative to set up a 4 GW solar park. The future of the project remains uncertain as the state government raised some seemingly unnecessary regulatory objections to the project.
Through this policy Rajasthan could again lead all other states in solar power installed capacity. India’s solar power revolution began in Rajasthan. Some of the first solar power projects installed in India were commissioned in Rajasthan; these projects were subsequently absorbed under the National Solar Mission launched in 2009. Neighbouring Gujarat, however, launched its own solar power policy in 2009 and became the leader in installed solar power capacity with about a fourth of India’s total solar power capacity installed in Gujarat today.
While Rajasthan has always been the most attractive state for solar power projects developers, the huge commitments made by project developers could possibly make the state the undisputed leader in solar power among all states. India plans to have an installed solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022. If all developers fulfil their commitments Rajasthan would boast at least 40% of this huge solar power infrastructure.
Image Credit: Azure Power
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