Indian solar sector all set to expand


February 9, 2015: India’s solar endeavours are set to get a healthy push in the near future as the country will see solar companies investing a lot more by April. This is expected to enhance the solar capacity of the country by 20,000MW. According to the latest reports, Upendra Tripathy, the secretary of the ministry of new and renewable energy, has revealed that the exact plan will be announced on Friday. Already companies based from countries like the US, Germany and China have committed to projects under the plan.

With global companies like First Solar, SunEdison Inc, Canadian Solar and JA Solar showing their interest in expanding business in India, the country is also keen to make full use of this opportunity. Keeping the same in mind, the companies would also be allowed to decide on the location for their manufacturing units as the government will facilitate in finding the lands for the setup of these solar farms. All of this is expected to help India attain the target of $100-billion expansion in clean energy, as set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India is a tropical country and hence gets more than 300 days of bright sunshine in a year. This makes the country a great place for producing solar energy. But right now, the country continues to rely on coal for three-fifths of its energy needs. The share of solar power remains at one per cent. At such a time, these solar projects can be great for India but even then the government needs to remove certain roadblocks like lack of finances for the power companies to buy solar power and hurdles with respect to land acquisitions for setting up solar power plants. Expressing concerns on this, Ajay Goel, chief executive of Tata Power Solar said, “There’s a lot of interest, but there are concerns as well. Who is buying the power and do they have the ability to pay?”