India’s massive solar power park scheme holds immense investment potential, a recent study has found.
According to the thinktank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), India could attract investment worth $500-700 billion in its solar power park scheme. The investment is likely to come not only in power generation but also in development of transmission infrastructure.
India has approved solar power parks of 26.5 gigawatts capacity so far, IEEFA notes. The state of Gujarat, located in western India, leads with 6.2 gigawatts of solar parks approved by the government. The state will also host one of the largest solar parks in the country, and perhaps the world. Bidding for projects at the 5 gigawatt Dholera solar park has already begun. The Indian government has also approved a 5 gigawatt solar power park in the federally-administrated region of Ladakh.
India’s largest solar power park, currently operational, is located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Located in Jodhpur district of the state, Bhadla solar park recently achieved its full operational capacity of 2,245 megawatts. The park hosts projects developed by some of the leading renewable energy companies in India.
Of the 26.5 gigawatts of solar power parks approved by the Indian government, nine with 14.6 gigawatts capacity are either fully or partially operational or under development. Initially, the development of 20 gigawatts of capacity was envisaged under the solar parks scheme. This was, however, doubled to 40 gigawatts in 2017.
To promote development of such solar parks and garner support from state governments, incentives and subsidies have been offered. State governments will receive a steady flow of revenue against power generated from solar parks. Additionally, they will also receive grants for development of infrastructure at these solar parks.
Apart from states, the Indian government has also roped in public sector companies for development of large-scale solar power parks. Companies like NTPC and NHPC are expected to develop such projects in the near future.