2015 - A YEAR OF GROWTH FOR INDIAN SOLAR INDUSTRY

At the end of an eventful 2014, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced that India’s total grid-connected solar capacity crossed 3 GW in December 2014. A total of 886 MW was added during the calendar year 2014, which made it another year of less than 1 GW installation. India crossed the 1 GW mark in July 2012 and the second GW mark in August 2013. The policy and regulatory uncertainties ensured that it took an inordinately long time for the 3rd GW to be completed.

While the first half of 2014 was full of uncertainty and indecision due to the elections, the second half was action packed, and laid a good foundation for a vastly better 2015. The MNRE started the process for allocation of 3 GW of solar projects under the state specific programme. Several Central Public Sector Undertakings (USA) and government organizations are also in the process of setting up solar plants. 3 southern states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the newly carved Telangana – allotted 500 MW of solar projects each, and if all goes well, a majority of these projects will be commissioned by end of 2015/early 2016.

Apart from that, several projects that were started in 2014 will be completed in 2015. These projects include the 750 MW of solar projects allotted under the Phase 2, Batch 1 of JNNSM, allocation under the state policies of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Overall, it is expected that around 2 GW of solar capacity will be added in 2015

image

While the 2 GW growth prospects give immediate relief to the industry, what excites and sometimes overwhelms the industry is the ambitious revision of solar targets by the new government. The government is proposing a 5-fold increase in the JNNSM targets and is planning to revise it from 20 GW of grid-connected solar to 100 GW by 2022 or even earlier. Considering the fact that it took India about 5 years to add 3 GW, adding another 97 GW in 8 years looks extremely challenging. The government has nonetheless gone ahead and released the year-wise roadmap to achieve the goal of 100 GW by 2020. The year-wise details are given below.Type your paragraph here.

After two years of lethargic growth, annual solar installations are expected to cross 2 GW in 2015, and another 3-4 GW is likely to be allotted this year. More clarity will emerge during the year as to how exactly the 100 GW target will be achieved. The domestic PV manufacturing industry will benefit once the demand increases. Financing cost, which has been one of the major challenges for setting up solar projects, is also expected to be gradually reduced as a result of the easing of inflation. Overall, 2015 promises to be a good year for the Indian solar sector and the start of a golden era for solar if all the government is able to convert good intentions to reality.