India set to achieve 1,00,000 MW solar power target by 2022

solar energy
India has restricted developers of solar power projects from using imported modules, delaying utility scale projects.

India is on course to achieve the 1,00,000 MW target for setting up grid connected solar power capacity by 2022. While a solar power generation capacity of 31,696 MW has been set up, projects are at different stages of completion for 17,998 MW. The government has already issued tenders for solar power projects of 36,278 MW capacity and fresh tenders for another 15,000 MW is under planning, the Lok Sabha was informed. Most of the solar power projects in the country are being set up with private investment, RK Singh, minister of state for new and renewable energy, informed the House on Thursday.

The government has released Rs 1,513.49 crore under various solar power schemes in the first half of the current financial year. The allocation for the whole financial year ended March 2019 was Rs 2,524.65 crore, while it was Rs 1,889.93 crore in the year before. The government launched National Solar Mission to promote generation and use of solar power. The ministry of new and renewable energy has launched a mobile app for solar rooftop systems across the country.

The government had set the target of 1,00,000 MW of solar power in 2015. In 2018, it had set a target of 1,75,000 MW of non-fossil fuel by 2022. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a commitment to set up 4,50,000 MW of non-fossil fuel power by 2022. India has a green energy capacity of 65,000 MW at present. Going by the current pace it may not achieve the 1,75,000 MW target, leave alone the 4,50,000 MW target set by Modi.

Solar energy tariffs in the country, already among the lowest globally, is pushed down further by state governments that conduct auctions for power purchase. Private power generation companies responded coldly to the auction for 64,000 MW capacity. While a quarter of the projects on offer received no or lukewarm bids, forcing the cancellation of 10% of them.

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Sajna Nair is a former banker. Her areas of interest are environment, art and culture.

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