India exceeds 4 Gigawatts of installed solar capacity

According to a recent report published by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India now has 4.011 Gigawatts of solar capacity. Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a significant increase in the country’s solar target under a program called the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) from 20 Gigawatts to 100 Gigawatts by 2022, to be split between 40 Gigawatt small and 60 Gigawatt medium and large scale projects. It has been estimated that this increase could create one million jobs according to the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).


The scale of the increase in India should be viewed through the lens of the capacity at the end of 2010-18 Megawatts. Of the 29 states in India, two (Rajasthan and Gujarat) have more than 1 Gigawatt of installed capacity. India is fostering local manufacturing under a program entitled “Make in India” which sets a target of 4-5 Gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020.


Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party has been in power since May 2014 partly as a result of the priority the party put on clean power generation. India has been attracting significant interest from major solar developers around the world including Sun Edison, the world’s largest. Sun Edison signed a 5 Gigawatt deal with the state Government in Karnataka early this year, and last October, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rajasthan to construct 5 Gigawatts of solar farms in that state.

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