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India crosses 5GW in solar power capacity: Bridge to India

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Installed capacity of solar power in India has crossed 5 gigawatt (GW), helped by new additions in 2015, said Bridge to India, a boutique consulting firm on Thursday.

India currently has a solar project pipeline of 15.7GW under bidding-cum-development. The country could reach 6GW in installed solar capacity by next fiscal year, making it one of the leading solar nations worldwide, the consulting firm said.

India has commissioned about 2GW of solar capacity so far this calendar year. Of the 5GW of installed capacity till date, about 4.7GW is utility solar capacity and about 525 megawatt (MW) is in rooftop capacity, Bridge to India said.

The country has raised its 2022 solar energy target to 100GW from 20GW as part of the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s efforts to lower dependence on coal-fuelled electricity.

“While the central government has laid down the ambitious target of 100GW by 2022, states have taken the lead over central government schemes in the last year. Encouraged by falling costs and growing need for green energy, states like Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have all announced substantial policy initiatives,” said Vinay Rustagi, managing director, Bridge to India.

India’s four southern states are expected to dominate the market over the next two years, taking a lead over states such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, which have historically been the front runners, according to the consulting firm.

States such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat are leading the total rooftop installed capacity. In 2015, about 240MW of rooftop capacity was added despite lack of any major rooftop specific initiatives. “We expect the market (rooftop) to grow at over 50% rate in the next few years,” the firm said.