Govt puts solar power on fast track; asks state-run firm to float 4,000 MW tenders in 4 months

By: | Published: November 19, 2018 11:56 AM

The government has asked SECI to bring 1,000 MW tenders every month from November 2018 to February 2019, in order to expedite the process of capacity edition amid criticism over unmet targets.

At present, India has an installed solar energy capacity of 25,000 MW.

The government has put its ambitious solar power capacity addition plan on a fast track, asking the state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to bring tenders to install 4,000 megawatt (MW) solar power capacity in four months to February 2019. The government has asked SECI to bring 1,000 MW tenders every month from November 2018 to February 2019, in order to expedite the process of capacity edition amid criticism over unmet targets, The Indian Express reported.

The proposal to add 4,000 MW of solar capacity is, however, unlikely to help in meeting the government’s target of 1 lakh MW of solar capacity by 2022, The Indian Express report said. India has an installed solar energy capacity of 25,000 MW.

The move comes with an assumption that the code of conduct for the next generation election will be enforced in March next year. The solar capacity that is expected to be commissioned in the current financial year is 4,165 MW, while the total of 4,740 of solar capacity is likely to be commissioned during the next financial year 2019-20, the newspaper said.

In 2015, the then power minister Piyush Goyal had said that the government has a target of having 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity, which would comprise 100 GW from solar power, 60 GW from wind power, 10 GW from biomass power and 5 GW from small hydropower, by the end of 2022. One GW is equal to 1000 MW

During the financial year 2010-11, just 1030 MW of solar power capacity was installed and by October 31, 2017, it has risen exponentially to 15,605 MW. By March 31, 2018, India has installed a solar capacity of 22 GW, according to estimates of Ministry of Renewable Energy.

Meanwhile, as the capacity has risen, the per unit rate has fallen. In the financial year 2010-11, the lowest tariff of solar power was reported at Rs 17.91 per unit. while the lowest tariff at which a solar project was bid in the last financial year ended on March 2018 was at Rs 2.44 per unit.

Between the financial year 2019 and 2023, the solar power capacity is likely to go up to 56-58 GW as against 20 GW between the financial year 2014-2018, showed a report published in July by CRISIL.

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