With the goal to accelerate the expansion of solar and wind power to replace fossil fuel-based power and meet its 2022 target, India has now declared a trajectory that aims at issuing tenders for 60 GW of solar and 20 GW of wind capacity by March 2020.
This would leave a two-year window to complete the execution of these projects before hitting the 2022 deadline for achieving 175 GW of renewable capacity.
The plan was announced by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in its year-end review. It is important to note here that India was the second largest solar market in the world surpassing the United States in terms of solar capacity addition in the first half (1H) of 2018. According to Mercom India Research approximately 1 MW of solar PV capacity was installed every hour in India in the first half of 2018.
According to Mercom India Research’s recent report analysing the growth of solar in the third quarter of 2018, India’s solar installations have reached 6.6 GW year-to-date with large-scale projects making up 5,382 MW and rooftop installations accounting for 1,240 MW.
Solar installations in India in Q3 2018 witnessed a slight decline with 1,589 MW, a 4 percent decrease compared to 1,659 MW installed in Q2 2018. Installations were also down about 30 percent year-over-year (YoY) compared to 2,278 MW installed in Q3 2017, according to Mercom India Research’s newly released Q3 2018 India Solar Market Update.
In Q3 2018, large-scale installations totaled 1,154 MW compared to 1,244 MW in Q2 2018 and 2,984 MW in Q1 2018. This is a 43 percent decline YoY when compared to 2,013 MW installed in Q3 2017. Cumulative solar installed capacity totaled 26 GW at the end of Q3 2018 with large-scale solar projects accounting for 89 percent and rooftop solar making up the remaining 11 percent.
In its notification, the MNRE also added that it is stepping up to the need for better research and development (R&D) for renewable technologies and innovations. To this end, the MNRE has decided to scale up its R&D effort to Technology Development and Innovation Program. The focus of the program will be on promoting application-oriented innovation, integrated with research and development for commercial applications and testing and standardization for quality and reliability assurance in renewable energy sector.
The MNRE also announced that a Technology Development and Innovation Policy (TDIP) is being finalized. It is based on a robust ecosystem for support for research, innovation and validation for technology development and demonstration, testing and standardization, awards for innovation linked with start-ups.