Govt Boost solar investment target to $100 bln by 2022, Solarzzy

Solar Plant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pumped up his objective for solar energy as he stake on renewables to help meet soaring power demand and conquer the constant blackout that outbreak Asia’s third largest economy, a senior official told Reuters.

India draws double as much sunshine as many western nations that use solar power. But the renewable energy source commit less than 1 percent to India’s energy mix, although its dependency on unreliable coal supplies causes constant power cuts that unproductive for the industry and hurt growth.

Modi now wish companies from Germany, China, United States and the Japan to start investments of $100 billion by seven years to expansion India’s solar energy quantity by 33 times to 100,000 megawatts (MW), said Upendra Tripathy, the leading authorative in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

That would boost solar’s contribution of India’s overall energy mix to more than 10 percent. In Germany, a leader in clean energy, solar assumed for about 6 percent of overall power achieved in 2014.

India had previous set an investment objective of $100 billion for the next five years for all form of clean energy, with wind catching up two-thirds of the overall. In conversation with, Tripathy said Modi’s new solar objective was determined, “but if you don’t  have a greater ambition, you will not accomplish anything”.

Canadian Solar and China’s JA solar said Reuters they are considering at manufacturing cells or modules – used in solar panels – in India. JinkoSolar Holdings said late announcements have also heightened their interest.

U.S.-based First Solar and SunEdison Inc have considerable businesses in India, and with sync with local companies will invest $6 billion in India for the fiscal year to March 31. Tripathy predicts new and current firms to invest about $14 billion annually starting next fiscal year through to 2022.

Among First Solar’s top jobs are two plants with Kiran Energy Solar Power and Mahindra Solar One totalling 50 MW in Rajasthan. SunEdison is busy on a 39 MW project in India and anticipation to participate in the solar development plan, said managing director Pashupathy Gopalan.

COST CHALLENGE

Solar energy in India rate up to 50 percent more than power from resources like coal. But the government hope the rising efficiency and lowering price of solar panels, low cost capital and increasing thermal rate to close the difference within three years.

Modi assured on high-profile stay to Japan and the United States last year to help solar firms overcome hurdle to entering the Indian market.

“Their main problems are who is the buyer, where is the area and can India have a administration where they can raise cheaper capital?” Tripathy said. “These three point have to be addressed and we are addressing them.”

To generate plentiful demand, power distributors will have to boost renewable energy demand to 8 percent from 3 percent by 2020. There is also a strategy to require new thermal plants to have a 10 percent renewable mix, which they can produce or buy from solar companies as credit.

India lately signed a $1 billion agreement with the Export-Import Bank of the United States for companies eager to ship material from that country. India is also working on solar bonds and helping foreign companies raise rupee bonds to cut costs.

Foreign companies say they are excited by Modi’s personal interest, but red tape is still a concern.

(News Published in Reuters 2015)

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