Solar Power Capacity In India May Hit 20 GW By March 2017

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India is likely to have an operational solar power capacity of close to 20 GW by March 2017 if projects under the states’ and central solar power policies go ahead as per the schedule.

According to Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Coal, Power and Renewable Energy, the country’s solar energy capacity is expected increase four-fold during the next fiscal year, ending March 2017.

At present, the country’s solar capacity stands at around 5 GW. The target for the capacity addition during this fiscal year is about 2 GW, whereas for the next fiscal year it is 12 GW. The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) expects over 4 GW of solar power capacity addition this financial year, which is twice the target. According to the recently issued document by MNRE, the majority of this capacity is expected to be added through central government policies, while states would continue to play catch-up.

Solar energy could rise at a much faster pace compared to other renewable energy technologies. The expected contribution of other renewable energy technologies would be only 3,000 MW during the next fiscal year. Wind energy, currently the largest renewable energy technology, is expected to see a fall in annual capacity addition.

According to the latest figures released by the MNRE, solar power has overtaken biomass-based power generation technology as India’s second largest renewable energy technology, in terms of installed capacity.

Solar power capacity in India is expected to shoot up rapidly over the next few years as the central government and several state governments have lined up large tenders. In a document released in early October, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy noted that around 4.8 GW of capacity will be up for grabs over the next 6 months.

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