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India’s solar capacity to cross 20GW in next 15 months: Piyush Goyal

According to reports, India’s solar power generation capacity would cross 20,000 MW in the next 15 months from the current level of 10,000 MW, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.

“On 10th of March this year the installed solar power capacity in India has crossed 10,000 MW, four times the installed capacity three years back, which in next 15 months would cross 20,000 MW,” a Power Ministry statement quoted the minister as saying.

“India could not have completely focused on Making in India in the last three years as being in the nascent stage, its solar power sector needed technological and financial boost from abroad to rapidly expand its horizons,” Goyal said at a media event.

The sector has reached certain maturity level which will lead the country becoming self-reliant in meeting its Green Energy needs. The proof is the drastic reduction in costs of solar power, becoming comparable with thermal power in India, he said. India solar power generation capacity stood at 2,650 MW on May 26, 2014.

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. In 2016, about 4 GW of solar capacity was added, the fastest pace till date.

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. The government is targeting 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind energy capacity by 2022.

Total renewable energy generation capacity is envisaged at 175 GW by 2022. Earlier last month, lower capital expenditure and cheaper credit had pulled down solar tariff to a new low of Rs 2.97 per unit in an auction conducted for 750 MW capacity in Rewa Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh.

The auction was conducted by a joint venture of Madhya Pradesh government and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The country has shown it to the world that India is a big market place for manufacturing in solar power sector and international investors and manufacturers have started setting up manufacturing units in the country, Goyal noted.

Goyal also encouraged the Industry stalwarts present at the event to ramp up the silicon wafer manufacturing industry and the manufacturing of solar cells in India.

He also talked about devising strategies to combine solar power with electric vehicles, which have three times the energy efficiency on engines that run on fossil fuels. This would be a revolution in the transportation sector, he added.

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