• With 7.8 GW of solar power capacity installed, India produced 7,447.92 GWh of solar power in 2015-16; wind power resulted in 33,029.39 GWh
  • As of 2014, the country installed over 4 GW of solar power capacity
  • Total number of solar power project tenders issued so far amounts to more than 20 GW of capacity
  • India targets 100 GW solar and 60 GW wind power by 2022

India had 7,447.92 GWh generated from solar power during fiscal year 2015-16, according to Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Piyush Goyal. He also stated in a written reply to the lower house of Indian Parliament that the country installed 4,131 MW of solar power capacity between 2014-15 and 2015-16, and 5,735 MW of wind power capacity. The data comes from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

The cumulative solar power capacity installed in India until June 30, 2016 was 7,805 MW (see India PV Capacity By June 2016). Goyal also informed that 315 MW of solar power had been installed under the country’s solar rooftop scheme.

Though the solar output generated in 2015-16 is much less than what was produced using wind power at 33,029.39 GWh, solar capacity is expanding quickly – and so will solar output, even if the capacity factor is lower than for wind power. Since the start of its National Solar Mission, the government has issued a total of 20,766 MW of solar power project tenders.

There is a lot of push from the government’s end for the promotion and adoption of solar power. While wind power has no government entity constructing any project, it is solar power that the state companies are quite keen on developing. A number of schemes have been put in place to further advance deployment of solar. Some of these schemes include:

  • Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects
  • Development of Solar PV Power Plants on Canal Banks/ Canal Tops
  • Setting up 300 MW of Grid connected Solar PV Power Projects by Defence Establishments under Ministry of Defense and Para Military Forces with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under Batch-IV of Phase-II/III of JNNSM (Jawharlal Nehru National Solar Mission)
  • Setting up 1,000 MW of Grid- Connected Solar PV Power Projects by CPSUs with VGF under Batch-V of Phase-II of JNNSM
  • Setting up of 15,000 MW of Grid connected Solar PV Power Projects under
    Batch II of Phase II of National Solar Mission (by NTPC/NVVN)
  • Setting up of 2,000 MW Grid connected solar power with VGF through Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI)

Recently, the government also announced a solar zones policy under which 10 dedicated solar zones for solar power plants and solar companies will come up across the nation (see India To Implement Solar Zones).

Wind companies are increasingly entering solar. In January, India based wind power company Suzlon Group made an entry into the solar market by winning solar projects with a cumulative capacity of 210 MW in six locations in the Indian state of Telangana (see Suzlon Enters Solar).

The sub-continent is now aiming to install 12,000 MW of solar power in the current fiscal year, while the capacity targeted for wind power is only 4,000 MW. By 2022, India wants to deploy 175 GW of renewable energy capacity, with solar’s share coming to 100 G, while wind is targeted to reach 60 GW, bio energy 10 GW and small hydro 5 GW.

The graph in the article was changed – a previous version erroneously showed a 60GW target for solar by 2022; it is of course 100GW (see updated graph).