At Less Than 3000 MW In 2014, India’s Solar Power Capacity Crosses 10,000 MW in Less Than 3 Years

At Less Than 3000 MW In 2014, India’s Solar Power Capacity Crosses 10,000 MW in Less Than 3 Years

Anupama Airy

India’s solar power generation capacity that stood at 2,650 MW on May 26, 2014, crossed the 10,000 MW mark on March 11, registering a three time increase in less than three years.

“Bright Future: India has crossed 10,000 MW of Solar power capacity today. More than 3 times increase in less than 3 years,” Power, Coal, Mines, New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.

The milestone came as India’s largest power producer, NTPC commissioned a 45 MW solar power project at Bhadla in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

In 2016, about 4 GW of solar capacity was added, the fastest pace till date. As much as 14,000 MW (or 14 gigawatt) of solar projects are currently under development and about 6 GW is to be auctioned soon.

Soon after assuming charge as the minister for power and RE, Goyal set an ambitious target of adding 100 GW of solar power generation capacity, 60 GW of wind and 175 GW of overall renewable energy capacity by 2022.

According to power ministry estimates, another 8.8 GW capacity is likely to be added in 2017, including about 1.1 GW of rooftop solar installations.

From the highs of Rs 14-16 a unit, solar power tariffs have fallen to a low of Rs 2.97 a unit. This price was discovered in a recent auction last month for the Rewa solar power project in Madhya Pradesh.

Wind Power tariffs too have seen a drastic fall from the levels of over Rs 10 a unit to a low of Rs 3.46 a unit.

The reverse bid auction for the 750 MW Rewa solar power park in Madhya Pradesh received bids received at Rs 2.97 by Acme, Rs. 2.974 by Solenberg and Rs 2.979 by Mahindra for a 250 MW unit each. These are the first year tariff bids, with a 5 paise escalation for 15 years (and 33 paisa to be added for the levelised tariff).

In the reverse bid auction for wind power, as many as 14 developers submitted bids cumulatively for approximately 2,700 MW.

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Finally five bidders who bid at Rs 3.46 a unit got successful. This too is a significant fall from the earlier highs of Rs 8-10 a unit

In a reverse auction, the bid is won by the company quoting the lowest price/tariff to be charged from customers. Presently, both developers and investors are upbeat on India’s RE sector that has never witnessed such growth before.

According to Bridge to India, the reduction in tariffs will spur demand and also force a drastic rethink of how wind power is procured in India. The dramatic fall in solar tariffs, it said, and would change India’s energy landscape dramatically in the years to come.

“In our view, cost advantage trumps everything else in the power sector including COP21 commitments, environmental imperative and regulatory support. That makes solar technology the firm favourite for powering India’s future economic growth”

Anupama Airy
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Anupama Airy

Founder and Editor at EnergyInfraPost
Independent Journalist and Energy Expert.​ (Worked with leading mainline financial and national daily for 23 years.​)​ Also, Guest Contributor with busines​sinsider.in
Currently, Writing a Book for Penguin India Titled Greased Pole:How Politics and Lobbying Stifled India’s Energy Dreams. The author can be reached on anupama.airy@gmail.com (9810661825)​
Anupama Airy
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