Saturday, September 06, 2014: A recently published report by Bridge To India, in association with Tata Power Solar, has claimed that India has the potential to have an installed solar power capacity more than six times from its plans for next ten years. The report explains that India has the capability to install 145GW solar power capacity across different project sizes by 2024.
As per the report, the capacity addition potential is across four plant sizes – residential rooftop (1-5 kW), industrial and commercial rooftop (10-500 kW), utility-scale projects (5-50 MW) and ultra mega solar power projects (1-3 GW). The report also notes that such a large capacity addition is possible as conventional energy sources like coal are getting hard-to-find and thus expensive. Moreover, the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) from solar energy is same with that of imported coal.
The report also notes that the highest potential in capacity addition are owned by commercial, industrial, and utility-scale projects. Utility-scale projects would also be highly successful. Both the segments, industrial rooftop and utility-scale, have the potential to add 42GW capacity by 2024. Residential rooftop segment represents up to 35 GW capacity addition by 2024. A number of state governments have already issued net metering regulations.
Indian government has plans to set up ultra mega solar power projects with capacities of up to 4 GW and this segment has the potential to add 27 GW of cumulative capacity by 2024. The central government has a financial package of $83 million for four such projects this year. While the figure of 145GW looks quite high the report has calculated the projections quite correctly as per the capacity of Indian solar power market. Under the National Solar Mission, India has plans to have cumulative installed solar power capacity of 22 GW while the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy hopes to have 100,000 GW capacity installed by 2030.