India Wants to Double Solar Capacity with 1GW Auction, Aims for 20GW by 2022

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Solar is Hot in India

The above is a map that shows India's solar resources. As you can see at a glance, almost the whole country is getting large quantities of sunlight, making it ideal for solar power. If you combine this gift from nature with what humans have been doing, and you get a perfect storm for a solar power boom; on one side you have a dirty and unreliable power grid that is getting more expensive by the year, and on the other side you have solar panels that are rapidly getting cheaper (in good part thanks to efficient Chinese manufacturers).

It's not surprise then that India has big plans for solar power:

Of the 3,000 megawatts of solar plants proposed to be built starting in 2013, contracts for “1,000 megawatts or a little less” may be tendered in the first batch, Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said yesterday in a phone interview from New Delhi.

The plan provides some guidance to solar utilities and manufacturers, which have said India must demonstrate a reliable pipeline of projects to draw the investment needed to meet its targets. India is aiming for 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022 and most of the country’s existing capacity of 1,040 megawatts was built in the past year. (source)

That auction mechanism is interesting, and should probably be used elsewhere in the world to insure that a backlash against too-generous subsidies doesn't slow down the solar boom:

"India has used auctions to avoid the spiraling renewable- energy subsidies that burdened European governments. Project developers are awarded capacity based on the discount at which they’re willing to sell power. Under that system, the price of solar power in India fell 38 percent between 2010 and 2011."

Via Bloomberg

See also: 9 Energy Innovations that Make the Future Brighter!

Tags: India | Solar Energy