India has now surpassed 8GW of installed solar PV capacity, according to figures from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
Only last week, the ministry said the capacity was around 7.8GW at the end of June, but the country has now hit 8,062MW as of the end of July, an increase of 257MW in a month.
The states with more than 200MW are:
● Rajasthan – 1,295MW
● Tamil Nadu – 1,267MW
● Gujarat – 1,123MW
● Andhra Pradesh – 936MW
● Telangana – 846MW
● Madhya Pradesh – 790MW
● Punjab – 521MW
● Maharashtra – 385MW
● Karnataka – 238MW
Tamil Nadu, which has the second highest capacity has had confirmed curtailment of solar powerin recent months, while Rajasthan with the highest capacity has seen curtailment according to various reports.
MNRE joint secretary Tarun Kapoor recently complained to the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) about the “backing down” of solar power, asking CERC to ensure solar takes priority over thermal power as it does not benefit from variable tariffs in the same way that thermal power does.
The Ministry of Power is also promoting distributed generation energy projects through its Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) policy to provide access to electricity to un-electrified villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective.
To date, 4,606 distributed generation projects have been sanctioned including biomass, biofuels, biogas, mini hydro and solar.
The DDUGJY scheme provides a subsidy towards 60% of the project cost. An additional subsidy of 15% is also offered for timely completion of these projects.
Mines and energy minister Piyush Goyal has also announced a scheme for Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to set up 1GW of wind power projects to be connected to the Central Transmission Utility (CTU).
India and the US will also be jointly working on the creation of US$20 million for US-India Energy Finance Initiatives. The aim is to mobilize up to US$400 million to provide finances for clean and renewable electricity by 2020. The two countries are also considering setting up a US-India Clean Energy Hub.