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Grid-connected solar power installed capacity has crossed the 4 GW-mark, according to data released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Against a target of 1,400 MW for 2015-16, the achievement in the first four months of the financial year was 358 MW, or 25 per cent. On the basis of projects awarded in the recent months, both under the federal and States’ schemes, solar industry experts are confident that installations in the current year will exceed 2,500 MW. This contrasts favourably with the 1,112 MW installed in 2014-15 and 948 MW in the previous year.
Solar capacity reaching the 4-GW milestone is said to be creditable considering that as recently as in 2010, India had only 12 MW of solar capacity. The MNRE has set a target of 100 GW of solar capacity to be achieved by 2022. An ambitious target, and the big question is whether it would be met.
A Citi group report, titled Energy Darwinism II, has projected that India’s solar installations in 2020 would be 26,523 MW— a respectable number, but way below the target. Such installed capacity would make India the fourth largest solar market, after China (148,141 MW), Japan (64,863 MW) and the US (64,133 MW).
Wind installations in the first four months of the current financial year were 412 MW, according to the MNRE data. Wind industry experts feel that, due to a variety of factors, the target of 2,400 MW for the full year is not likely to be met. The Citi report forecasts India’s wind capacity at 38,690 MW by 2020. The government’s target for 2022 is 60,000 MW.
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