India’s 100 GW Solar Energy Target: Achievable or Overambitious
To continue this phenomenal growth and become a dominant player in the global solar industry, the industry and the Government need to come together to ensure a favourable innovative environment, focused on creating a sustainable future.
Over the last few years, the Indian solar energy sector has seen an exponential growth. The turning point for it, however, was the ambitious target of 100 GW of solar energy generation, to be achieved by 2022, that was announced by the Government. Coupled with India’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, the industry saw a renewed interest from all quarters. The 100 GW target includes 40 GW through de-centralized rooftop projects, 40 GW through utility-scale solar plants, and 20 GW through ultra-mega solar parks.
The target, while definitely ambitious, is not entirely unachievable. Owing to the constant innovation taking place and new technology becoming available, installations and projects which would have earlier taken 10 years are now completed in a span of just 12 months. However, the primary factor making the target achievable is the constant support and focus of the Government on the sector. Time and again, we have seen the Government ensure that the country is on the path of transitioning to a future reliant on renewable energy.
Even India Inc. shared its support, when as a part of the RE 100 mission, many renowned names like Infosys and Tata Motors pledged their support in helping bring us closer to a renewable tomorrow. Yet, much work remains, and it is imperative for the policies and subsidies introduced to be in sync and aid the industry become active partners in achieving the goal. The Make in India initiative has furthered the strengths of domestic solar manufacturers and helped showcase their capabilities. However, there is a dire need for imposing policies pertaining to safeguard duty and anti-dumping, in order to continue this endeavour. The introduction of the Modified Special Incentive Package (MSIP) will also be beneficial for the Indian manufacturers and help the industry receive the much required boost to reach the target.
During December 2017, total solar power capacity installed was 17.05 GW (27.13 per cent of total renewable installation in country). Total solar capacity in India is expected to be 8 per cent of global solar capacity by 2035. Indian solar installations in calendar year 2017 grew exponentially with the addition of 9,629 MW in new large-scale and rooftop solar capacity. The installation total was more than double the 4,313 MW installed in 2016 and made 2017 the best year for solar installations in India to date. The robust growth boosted the country’s total installed capacity to 19.6 GW as of December 2017. To continue this phenomenal growth and become a dominant player in the global solar industry, the industry and the Government need to come together to ensure a favourable innovative environment, focused on creating a sustainable future.
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