India Adds 500 MW Solar Power Capacity In 6 Months

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Originally published on Solar Love.

The rate at which solar power plants in India are coming online seems attractive enough for investors to continue to pour in money into the sector.

According to the latest figures shared by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), more than 500 MW solar power capacity was added in the country between April and September, which marks the first half of the financial year 2015-16.

The capacity addition continues to be dominated by the central government’s schemes, however, that will not be the case for too long. About 54% of the capacity was added under the National Solar Mission scheme. This 281 MW capacity is part of the auction carried out under the previous government. These projects were allocated under the Batch I Phase II of the scheme where developers were provided subsidies for capital investment.

Nearly three-fourths of the 281 MW capacity was commissioned in Rajasthan where most of the project developers had expressed interest in setting up projects during the bidding process. Other projects where projects under the national solar mission have been commissioned include Madhya Pradesh (40 MW), Maharashtra (15 MW), Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka (10 MW each).

Under the state solar power policies, Madhya Pradesh led the pack with 45 MW capacity commissioned. The state was followed by neighboring Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. More capacity is expected to be commissioned in Andhra Pradesh over the next few months, and years! 

Under the Renewable Energy Certificate scheme, only 32 MW capacity was commissioned. The scheme is not as popular among the developers as it used to be few years back, as the price of certificates has been reduced significantly by the regulatory body.

Rooftop solar power segment is lagging behind all others with just 10 MW capacity addition. The government is facing an uphill task to meet its medium-term target to achieve 40 GW installed rooftop solar power capacity by March 2022.

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An avid follower of latest developments in the Indian renewable energy sector.

Saurabh has 1037 posts and counting. See all posts by Saurabh

4 thoughts on “India Adds 500 MW Solar Power Capacity In 6 Months

  • I hope commissioning rate increases significantly, since there seems to be lengthy delay (or gap?) beween lofty announcements of gigawatt-scale additions, big projects, and the actual gigawatt-level total annual increases. This year is only second where 1GW level is reached.
    I understand that there is latency between announcements of project planning and commissioning; but nowadays solar parks can be constructed very quickly compared to other energy production modes. So when do we see actual utility-scale solar surge in India, not just announcements?

    • As per my knowledge, 8.7 GW of utility scale projects have been auctioned and are in the development phase. State solar policies typically grant the developers 12-18 months from the signing of the PPA to the commissioning of the project. So a bit of lag is bound to exist.

      • Yes, it is true that beyond physical challenges there are many other things to get through. So hopefully full pipeline yields multi-gigawatt deployments for 2016-2017 and beyond.

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