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17 June 2015 | by Gabor Chodkowski-Gyurics

India to step up its solar development

India to step up its solar development
Indian government approved the long-rumored fivefold increase of planned solar power capacity to 100 GW by 2022. According to Union Cabinet, the supreme decision-making body in India, as of June 17, the plan is expected to cost around $100 billion.

Despite over 300 sunny days a year on average, India remains reliant on coal for about 60 percent of its energy needs and is the world’s fourth biggest CO2 emitter. Indian solar industry, which totals 4 GW of installed power capacity, according to the government, accounts for less than one percent of the country’s energy needs.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long campaigned for push towards solar energy as a solution to providing energy access for an estimated 400 million Indian poor, yet numerous analysts have said India’s ambitions will prove difficult to fulfill, given slow pace at which land is made available for solar plants, already overstressed grid infrastructure and trouble in obtaining financing for solar projects.

Bridge to India, a consultancy specializing in the Indian solar market, has recently estimated that the Indian government would realistically achieve only 31 GW of installed power capacity by 2019 and it would take around $40 billion worth of debt for the country to even reach the previous, more modest plan of installing 60 GW of utility-scale solar power by 2022.


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