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Achieving India’s Solar Goals

By August 22, 2016Industry News

India has set a high target for solar development, 100GW installed by 2022, as part of their “Clean Climate” plan. Each state has been delegated an amount of development needed to reach the goal, and in June ministers from across the country and government met to discuss and make commitments to progress. The state with the highest target is Maharashtra with a whopping 4,700 MW target to be installed by 2022. The government itself promised over 5,000MW to be installed on their buildings and lands over the course of the next three years. The rest will be auctioned out to development firms and managed by private industry.

According to the targets, India will add 12 GW of new solar power capacity this fiscal year, and add 15 GW and 16 GW of new solar capacity in FY2018 and FY2019, respectively. This will also bring the country closer to the government’s commitment of providing 24-hour electricity to all Indians by 2019.

If the country can achieve this level of solar development it will easily become the global leader in the solar industry. The question is whether this is a goal or a target. Already in 2016 the country has added enough capacity to power over 18 million homes. The contingencies rely upon reforming their grid, which presently is a mix of government funded and private firms that is not only incapable of the capacity which will be demanded of it, but is financially unviable. The newest scheme will rely on state funded electricity “lifelines.”

This is important not only for its solar commitment, but also for its national energy and climate change commitments–installing 175 GW of total renewable power capacity by 2022, and increasing the share of non-fossil-based power capacity from 30 percent today to about 40 percent by 2030.