India has unveiled a new road map to back its solar power targets and is making significant progress towards increasing renewable energy capacity by 2022. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced a target in 2014 to increase solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.
According to Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, India is aiming to achieve its 100 GW solar target as early as the end of 2017. Currently, India’s total installed solar power capacity is 5.8 GW and the country will need to increase its solar power generation, considerably from an average 4 GW per year to more than 15 GW per year to meet the target.
Speaking at the Concentrated Solar Thermal Technology and Solar Cooker Excellence Awards, Goyal said that India exceeded its 2016 solar targets by 116 per cent, and that the country “has signalled to the world that we’re ready to lead.”
According to the targets, India will add 12 GW of new solar power capacity during the 2016 fiscal year, and 15 GW and 16 GW of new solar capacity in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has already approved the installation of 15 GW of new solar energy projects, of which 12 GW is likely to be in operation by March next year. The target is designed to support India’s national climate goal of increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based power capacity from 30 per cent to about 40 per cent by 2030.
Solar power development has faced challenges in recent years including poor transmission infrastructure and lack of investment. The world’s total installed solar power capacity was 181 GW in 2014 and the 2022 target would make India a global leader in the renewable energy sector.
Defining its energy roadmap will help the Indian government achieve its commitment of providing 24-hour electricity access to all Indians by 2019.