India's solar power capacity crosses 10 GW: Piyush Goyal

This brings India closer to attaining 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022

The Dollar Business Bureau

India's solar power generation capacity reported a multi-fold surge, as it crossed the 10,000 MW mark on March 10, 2017. It stood at 2,650 MW in mid 2014. 

"Bright Future: India has crossed 10,000 MW of Solar power capacity today. More than 3 times increase in less than 3 years," New and Renewable Energy Minister, Piyush Goyal, declared.

The crossing of 10 GW milestone is a stepping stone to attaining the proposed goal of 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022. India aims to augment its overall renewable energy generation capacity to 175 GW by 2022.

The transparent and fiercely competitive auctioning of solar and wind energy capacity recently brought down unit prices of renewable energy to multiple year lows recently. While solar energy reached an all time low price of Rs. 2.97 per unit, wind energy prices dipped to Rs. 3.46 per unit.

SunEdison, a US based solar energy firm and Fortum Finnsurya Energy from Finland are some of the bidders which were instrumental in bringing down prices. Renewable energy, which was, for a very long time, commercially unviable due to high costs involved, has now become extremely attractive as an investment avenue. The multifold dip in prices of wind energy turbines and solar panels has also helped greatly.

As the global focus shifts from thermal power to more sustainable modes of energy in the light of the new Paris climate change agreement of 2016, commercial interests in the renewable energy sector have soared. This will help curb the greenhouse gas emissions, to which, the traditional power generation processes contribute heavily. India makes for 4% of the world's carbon emissions. This is a lot lesser than US and China, which contribute 40% together. By 2030, under the COP21 protocol, to which India is a signatory, the country must reduce its emissions by 35% (2005 emissions taken as base). Along with augmentation of renewable energy generation, India also needs to increase its green cover, if it wants to come any close to meeting this obligation.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 11, 2017 12:00 IST