India achieved an operational solar power capacity of 20 gigawatts by the end of 2017, Mercom India Research has claimed.
According to Mercom India Research, a record 9.5 gigawatts of solar power capacity was likely added in 2017, taking the total solar power capacity operational in India to over 20 gigawatts. The figures do not match those released by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, and Mercom attributes the figures to its ‘India Solar Project tracker.’
India launched the National Solar Mission in 2009 with a target to have 20 gigawatts of grid-connected and 2 gigawatts of distributed solar power capacity by March 2022. India’s grid-connected solar power capacity now stands at 20 gigawatts — including 18.4 gigawatts of utility-scale and 1.6 gigawatts of rooftop solar power capacity, according to Mercom.
In 2015, the current government revised the capacity targets to 100 gigawatts of solar power capacity by March 2022. The Indian government recently announced a highly aggressive auctions timeline which will see 77 gigawatts of capacity auctioned by March 2020, giving developers at least 2 years to commission all projects.
A total capacity of 3.6 gigawatts has already been auctioned in FY2017-18. An additional 3 gigawatts will be auctioned in December 2017, 3 gigawatts in January 2018, 5 gigawatts in February 2018, and 6 gigawatts in March 2018. A further 30 gigawatts each will be auctioned in FY2018-19 and FY2019-20. Thus a total of 77 gigawatts will be put on the block by 31 March 2020. Developers will thus have ample time to deliver all projects by the March 2022 deadline.
Along with solar, the Indian government also revised the overall renewable energy capacity target upward for 2022 to 175 gigawatts. According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the total renewable energy installed as of 31 December 2017 is 64.4 gigawatts. The Indian government expects the capacity to go beyond the 175 gigawatts target by March 2022.