Thanks mainly to the government’s ambitious push to install 100 gigawatt (GW) of solar power capacity by 2022, investment in the renewable energy sector has surged 22% to $10.9 bn in 2015, edging closer to the highest ever investment of $13.1bn achieved in 2011. Investment in solar energy reached $5.6 billion in 2015, up 80% from $3.1 bn in the previous year, a Bloomberg energy finance report said.
The country’s installed solar capacity grew from 22 MW in 2011 to 2.5 GW in 2014. The capacity addition last year was more than double the level in 2013 and 2014 combined, at 2GW. It is estimated that 2016 will see an increase of 140% in solar capacity addition, to around 5GW.
The focus on grid-connected solar capacity meant that money flowing into the sector surpassed that of wind sector for the first time. Wind power has traditionally had a stronger foothold in the country with the availability of feed-in tariff enabling private players to develop wind power and manufacture related equipment. Compared to a cumulative capacity of under 4.5GW of solar capacity, wind power contributes nearly 24 GW to the energy mix, thanks to the steady growth over the past few years.
“Investments in wind have stayed relatively flat at $4.1 billion in 2015, which is also the average achieved in the last three years,” the report quoted above said.