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India: Emergency of a giant

20 November 2017

India has a high energy deficit as a result of an old infrastructure based on coal, which now places this country among the world's first polluters.

India is an extensive country of more than 3 million square kilometers and more than 1,200 million inhabitants, the latter being the second most populated country on the planet. Politically it is a federal republic (29 states and 7 territories of the Union) with parliamentary democracy.

The economic policies applied in recent decades have placed this country (with an annual increase of 5-6%) among the fastest growing economies in the world. Over the past three years, it has consolidated itself as the seventh largest economy in the world as a function of nominal GDP, according to the IMF, with more than 2,000 million current dollars.

Despite these data that make India an emerging superpower for the 21st century, the country has strong demographic (overpopulation) and economic (social gap) imbalances. The data estimated for 2040 predict that its population will reach 1600 million. What will then be the country's electricity demand?

India has a high energy deficit as a result of an old infrastructure based on coal, which now places this country among the world's first polluters.

"More than half of India's electric power capacity comes from coal, and coal imports hit a record last fiscal year. This is bad both environmentally and economically for India. "Reports Clean Thecnica in January 2014.

"As economic growth continues and the population increases, it faces the triple challenge of meeting the growing demand, reducing pollution and providing modern energy to more than 300 million people who are not connected to the electricity grid," reports The Energy newspaper on Nov 2016.

These factors, increased electricity demand due to overpopulation and obsolescence of fossil energy infrastructures, determined to the authorities of the country's energy policy a significant change in the model, reducing GEIS emissions, changing the current coal plants for other natural gas, and configuring an electrical network capable of absorbing the contributions of renewable sources (sun and wind) in development, taking advantage of its advantages of continuous reduction, storage and efficiency improvement. It should be added that the infrastructures of this conversion to renewables, especially with regard to their future needs, are still to be built.


With regard to solar energy, the Indian government presented in January 2010 the JNNSM program (National Solar Mission Jawaharlal Nehru) subdivided into three phases and final in 2022:

On May 11, 2012, the Progress under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission report was issued, publishing the allocation of a 1,100 MW capacity of solar energy connected to the grid and a first approximation of the distribution by states: "The following table presents the installed solar capacity under JNNSM and several state programs. " In December 2012, another report sets the distribution by states:

In two states of the table (Gujarat and Rajasthan) the T-Solar group intervenes.


In October 2011, Energías Renovables, in an article titled: "From Asia to America, 61 MW with the signature T-Solar" recorded the debut of T-Solar in the Asian country:

"The T-Solar group has just connected its first 5 MW photovoltaic plant in India with amorphous silicon thin-film panels produced at the company's factory in Galicia. The plant is located in the vicinity of the city of Jodhupur, in the state of Rajasthan, and will provide 8.5 GWh per year to the interconnected electricity system in the country. This is the first time that a Spanish company has connected a photovoltaic plant in India and also one of the first to enter into service within the framework of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

The Jodhupur plant has been jointly promoted by T-Solar and Astonfield Renewable Resources and before the end of the year (we are in 2011) it is planned to connect a second photovoltaic power plant in the state of Gujarat with a power of 12.3 MW , enough to generate 19.4 GWh / year.

The investment made in Jodhupur and Gujarat amounts to 38 million euros. The two photovoltaic plants will generate enough energy to supply the needs of 43,000 Indian households. "


In April 2015, the Press Office of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of India, issues a report announcing the launch of a plan of December 2014 "for the development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Energy Projects that contemplates the installation of at least 25 Solar Parks and Ultra Solar Energy Projects aimed at (achieving) more than 20,000 MW of installed solar energy capacity in a period of 5 years from 2014-15 (...) The Ministry provides central financial assistance (...) You can install large capacity solar parks, that is, 500 MW or more ".


From a first proposal to reach 20 GW by 2022, the ministry proposes a second one: reach 100 GW by 2022.

Under the title "Government looking at 100,000 MW solar power by 2022", Business-Standard published in November 2014 an article from which we extracted some data:

The government is working on the revision of the goal of generating solar power to 100,000 MW by 2022 from the current 20,000 MW (proposed), said the Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal.

"The previous objective for solar energy was 20,000 MW until 2022, which we are trying to restore to 100,000 MW," he said at an event organized by the University of Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

"On the solar front, we believe there is a huge potential to bring it to 100,000 MW in the next 5-7 years," he added.

The minister said the government is working to make solar projects viable, providing network parity, making them economically viable and ensuring that financing and returns are reasonably assured.

"India aims for 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, of which 20 GW has been allocated to solar parks" announces moneycontrol.com in Dec 2016.

Clean Technica, in September 2015 and under the title India considers adding 20 GW of capacity through mega solar energy projects, echoes the ministerial proposal, gathering a greater specification:

"India seems to be planning to significantly change the dynamics of its National Solar Mission, since it has proposed to add 20 GW through solar mega projects of 500 MW capacity or more (...) The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently issued a proposal to implement 25 mega solar energy projects with capacities between 500 MW and 1,000 MW. The projects will be established over a period of five years. Small solar parks of 100 MW each would be considered for small states. The government may consider solar parks of more than 1,000 MW capacity under special circumstances. The government itself has proposed four projects of this type with a capacity of up to 4,000 MW (...) Interestingly, governments and state authorities would not be required to buy electricity from these solar parks. The developers of the project would have the freedom to supply energy to whomever they want and at whatever price they can negotiate. This could be a real game changer, as it could attract several project developers. State authorities should buy at least 20% of the energy generated from solar parks. "

"The ministerial plan has the backing of the European Commission, which is embodied in the CECI Project (Clean Energy Cooperation with India). Within the framework of this project, a consortium of European companies in which IDOM is participating is providing technical assistance to the Ministry and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for the integration into the network, operation and maintenance of the planned solar parks , as well as the development of capacities, adapting the best practices used in the EU to local conditions ", according to IDOM Yearbook 2017, p. 173

In Feb 2016 PV Magazine headlines: "India could surpass 20 GW of solar energy next March, according to a government report."

Clean Thecnica published in November 2016 an article entitled "Solar Power Capacity In India Tops 10 Gigawatts" from which we extracted the following data:

  •  India is now part of a handful of countries with 10 GW or more of operational solar power capacity.
  •  The solar capacity at utility scale has crossed 9 GW while the solar capacity on the roof has crossed 1 GW.
  •  India will soon become the third largest solar energy market in the world, after China and the United States, and a big jump in annual capacity addition is expected from next year.
  •  Seven states - Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab - account for 80% of the country's installed solar capacity. These states have managed to get ahead of others due to solid policies and the availability of solar and terrestrial resources.

According to Solar Power Europe 2017, India is the seventh country at the end of 2016 in the global ranking, with 3.1% of the total accumulated power.


These data, mainly those of the last three years, are in Economic Times, April 2017 in an article, entitled "India's solar energy capacity expanded by record 5,525 MW" from which we extracted:

→ "India's solar capacity has expanded by a record 5,525.98 MW in 2016-17."

→ "By comparison, India had added 3,010 MW of solar capacity in 2015-16, which shows that growth almost doubled in the last year. The accumulated solar capacity is currently 12,288.83 MW, against 6,762.85 MW at the end of March 2016. "

→ "The accumulated objective that the MNRE had previously established was 17,000 MW by the end of 2016-17. "At the end of next year, our minister has committed to an accumulated target of 20,000 MW," said Santosh Vaidya, deputy secretary of MNRE. "This would mean adding another 7,750 MW in 2017-18."

→ "The JNNSM had initially set a goal of 20,000 MW of solar capacity by 2020. However, that was escalated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he took over in 2014, raising it to 100,000 MW of solar energy by 2022."

We see here the echo of what we have supra subtitled Objective Review.

→ Among the states, Andhra Pradesh added the maximum solar capacity in 2016-17 (1,294.26 MW), followed by Karnataka (882.38 MW) and Telangana (759.13 MW). Other important additions were in Rajasthan (543 MW), Tamil Nadu (630.01 MW), Punjab (388 MW), Uttar Pradesh (193.24 MW) and Uttarakhand (192.35 MW). With this year's additions, Andhra Pradesh now leads in accumulated solar capacity between states (1,867.23 MW) displacing Rajasthan (1,812.93 MW), which had been number 1 in the last three years. Gujarat, which led the solar generation for many years, is now at n. ° 4 with 1,249.37 MW, while Telangana with 1,286.98 MW is n. 3.

Finally, Juan A. Roca in El Periodico de la Energía (Nov 2016), reports on the issue at hand: "India is on track to install more than 10 GW of renewable energy per year starting in 2017 if the facilities in the Large-scale renewable energy sectors, solar energy on the roof and outside the network, maintain the pace of current growth. The country has already managed to have the third largest energy sector in the world after China and the US "(...)

"The objective of renewables of the Government of Narendra Modi, set at 175 GW for 2022." We note that of these 175 GW as the target to be achieved in the next five years for the group of renewables, 60 GW correspond to solar energy.

Another perspective or estimate for Indian photovoltaics in the next five years is issued by Solar Power Europe, placing two scenarios for this country: low and high. For the low estimate an addiction of 50 GW and for the high of 88 GW.

The expectation of installation of more than 20 GW in the next five years, only concerns four countries: China, India, the United States and Japan, according to Solar Power Europe. For this same organization (former European Photovoltaic Industry Association or EPIA) "India reaches 15 GW of new capacity in the fiscal year 2017-18 (until March 2018). Given that the installation activities in the Indian market have been very high since the beginning of the year and the policy framework (constantly improved) facilitates faster development, our average scenario assumes 9.9 GW of new capacity additions (it is understood for 2017), which would mean more than double that installed in 2016. "


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