This January, India achieved the 20 GW solar capacity target, meant for 2022 — four years ahead of the deadline, and it did not go unnoticed. Endowed with more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the World Bank said, India is “making strides” towards becoming “a global solar superpower”. It said that to achieve the 20GW target, India has installed solar parks on large tracts of unused land across the country.
The World Bank also said that in areas where land is scarce for solar parks, rooftops hold huge potential. “Tapping the rooftop solar market will be essential for India to meet its massive energy needs,” said Simon Stolp, a lead energy specialist at the World Bank.
It also said that to 40% of the revised 100 GW solar capacity target by 2022 will come from rooftop solar. “Until now, however, it was difficult to break through into the rooftop solar market. Although the business case was strong, and the costs of solar panels were falling dramatically, financing was difficult to come by,” it added.
The Narendra Modi government, in a cabinet meeting in 2015, approved stepping up of India’s solar power capacity target by five times to 100 GW by 2022. This new target, if achieved, will make India one of the largest green energy producers in the world.
According to Mercom India, a leading clean energy market tracker, India achieved a milestone 20 GW in cumulative solar installations to date in January. The target of achieving 20GW solar capacity target under the National Solar Mission “has been reached four years ahead of time”. Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Rajasthan are the states that have topped solar installations target.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in 2009 with a target for Grid Connected Solar Projects of 20 GW by 2022. Between 2010 and 2015, the price of solar energy came down significantly from Rs 17.90 per unit in 2010 to under Rs 7 per unit.