India's cumulative solar capacity installation crosses 3000 MW mark

Cumulative solar installations in India had crossed the 3000-megawatt (MW) mark with the addition of 734 MW so far this year, a 20 per cent drop from the previous year, due to land acquisition delays, elections and unsettled conditions caused by the anti-dumping case, Times of India quoted Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm as saying in a report.

The number of installations is, however, expected to double next year reaching approximately 1,800 MW, according to report.

According to Raj Prabhu, CEO and co-founder of Mercom Capital Group, the Indian solar industry was visibly upbeat since the elections and especially after getting past the anti-dumping case. Recent cancellations of coal mining licences by the Supreme Court amid rising coal imports and increasing costs, and continuing power shortages had all contributed to the positive momentum in the solar sector," he added.

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) had released a new installation goal of 15000MW by 2019 via solar parks (a large area and infrastructure set aside by states to accommodate installations of 500-1,000MW) that states would set up in three tranches.
A revised draft for Phase II, Batch 2, Tranche I Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) projects, which targets 3,000MW, was released.

According to the company's projections, installations would double in 2015, to 1.8GW with the removal of these barriers, reported.

The company further stated in the update that the ministry of new and renewable energy's new target for 15GW by 2019 via 'ultra mega' (500MW+) solar power plants, and an increase in the first tranche for the national solar mission to 3GW, would spur the industry on in 2015.

Thanks to land and grid infrastructure restraints, 'ultra mega solar power plants' might not be a sound long-term plan, with other nations focusing on distributed commercial and residential solar, according to Mercom.

The Indian rooftop solar market was projected by solar analyst Bridge to India to notch up 1.5GW of cumulative installed capacity by 2018, up from 285MW currently.

Energy minister Piyush Goyal also said last week that India was targeting an ambitious 100GW of solar generation by 2022.