India’s solar capacity to double in 2017

In 2017, India’s solar capacity is projected to double to 18 GW, with 14.2 GW of solar projects currently under development and tenders for approximately 6.3 GW are yet to be auctioned.

India’s solar capacity is set to double as large projects are commissioned, despite the short-term challenges of power limitation and weak tendering in certain states, according to sector expert and power producers.

As of December, India’s total solar capacity amounted to 9 GW.

During 2017, the solar energy sector is expected to add another 9 GW of capacity – elevating India’s overall capacity to compete with other nations including China and Japan, says the cleantech consultancy, Mercom Capital Group Llc.

On 4 January, Mercom Capital released a report outlining that a total of roughly 14.2 GW of solar projects are currently under development and tenders for 6.3 GW are yet to be auctioned.

The renewable energy-focused consultancy, Bridge to India, expects that the country’s solar market will grow by 90 per cent in 2017, as India adds a total of 8.8 GW of capacity – including 1.1 GW of rooftop solar installations.

The solar energy sector is beginning to see the effects of the ambitious target set by the government.

Vinay Rustagi, Managing Director of Bridge to India, said: “The large capacity addition this year is purely a case of how timelines work for these projects. Because the government was formed in 2014 and they announced the new target in 2015 and the bulk of the large tenders started coming out toward the end of 2015. So these are the projects which will start getting implemented and commissioned in 2017.”

However, there is still a long way to go as India has a target of setting up 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy capacity by 2022.

The growing energy sector will require $250 billion in investments to reach this target.