India’s solar power capacity crosses 10,000 MW
India has achieved a major milestone in solar power capacity addition. Cumulative solar capacity, including rooftop and off-grid segments, has crossed 10,000 MW in the country.
“The pace of sector activity has picked up tremendously in the last two years because of strong government support and the increasing price competitiveness of solar power,” according to a report by Bridge to India, a global solar energy consulting firm.
India is expected to become the world’s third biggest solar market next year, after China and the US. An average annual capacity addition of 8-10 GW per annum is expected from next year.
Some key themes can be observed in the growth of the Indian solar market so far. Among the states, Tamil Nadu has the highest installed capacity, followed by Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. These seven states collectively accounted for more than 80 per cent of total installed capacity as of mid-November 2016. Some of the larger power consuming states such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are way behind in the sector.
The government originally envisaged developing 20,000 MW of solar park capacity by 2020, but the scheme has received an enthusiastic response from the private sector and the government is already planning to double this capacity to 40,000 MW. Further, eight green energy corridors are under construction, with financial assistance from German development bank KFW, to evacuate and integrate the growing share of renewable energy into the grid. The corridors will allow transmission of solar power from the solar rich states to other states.