The industries in world are already benefitted by 17,83,91,000 Kilowatts* of electrical power through solar module signaling the entry of solar PV power as mainstream source of power. The leadership of solar industry is being transferred rapidly from Japan to Germany in 2005 to whole of Europe to Asia-pacific catching up fast with India and China as emerging leaders. India has total installed more than 40,89,000 Kilowatts in 2015 with Gujarat and Rajasthan as leading states and Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh catching up fast with implementing more clear and practical policies.(courtesy: MNRE)


Global Installed PV Capacity
Report Cumulative (MWp) Installed (MWp) Year-End Period Release date
IEA-PVPS snapshot >177,000 >38,700 2014 March 2015
SPE outlook* 178,391 40,134 2014 June 2015
Overview of reported annual installations and global cumulative figures in chronological order* SPE also noted that global PV-shipment was much higher, about 44–46 GW in 2014.

2015 - A YEAR OF GROWTH FOR INDIAN SOLAR INDUSTRY

At the end of an eventful 2014, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) announced that India’s total grid-connected solar capacity crossed 3 GW in December 2014. A total of 886 MW was added during the calendar year 2014, which made it another year of less than 1 GW installation. India crossed the 1 GW mark in July 2012 and the second GW mark in August 2013. The policy and regulatory uncertainties ensured that it took an inordinately long time for the 3rd GW to be completed.

While the first half of 2014 was full of uncertainty and indecision due to the elections, the second half was action packed, and laid a good foundation for a vastly better 2015. The MNRE started the process for allocation of 3 GW of solar projects under the state specific programme. Several Central Public Sector Undertakings (USA) and government organizations are also in the process of setting up solar plants. 3 southern states – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and the newly carved Telangana – allotted 500 MW of solar projects each, and if all goes well, a majority of these projects will be commissioned by end of 2015/early 2016.

Apart from that, several projects that were started in 2014 will be completed in 2015. These projects include the 750 MW of solar projects allotted under the Phase 2, Batch 1 of JNNSM, allocation under the state policies of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. Overall, it is expected that around 2 GW of solar capacity will be added in 2015.

While the 2 GW growth prospects give immediate relief to the industry, what excites and sometimes overwhelms the industry is the ambitious revision of solar targets by the new government. The government is proposing a 5-fold increase in the JNNSM targets and is planning to revise it from 20 GW of grid-connected solar to 100 GW by 2022 or even earlier. Considering the fact that it took India about 5 years to add 3 GW, adding another 97 GW in 8 years looks extremely challenging. The government has nonetheless gone ahead and released the year-wise roadmap to achieve the goal of 100 GW by 2020. The year-wise details are given below.



  2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Totel
Rooftop Solar (GW) 3 7 9 10 11 40
Large Scale Solar (GW) 4 6 8 10 12 40
Ultra Mega Power Projects (GW) 0 5 5 5 5 20
Total (GW) 7 18 22 25 28 100

It can be seen from the roadmap that Distributed Generation (DG) in the form of Rooftop solar is expected to play a very critical role in achieving the targets. Large solar parks that can accommodate Ultra Mega Power Projects are also expected to contribute significantly to the capacity addition.

One of the major policy initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “Make in India”. While this initiative is envisioned at a broad level and covers almost every sector, solar also finds a place in it. Mr. Modi has clearly articulated on various occasions that investments in domestic manufacturing will take place only if there is a strong local demand. The 100 GW target should be viewed in the context of not only addressing power deficit and climate goals, but also in terms of creating a flourishing domestic solar PV manufacturing industry. The announcement by Sun Edison about setting up an integrated solar PV manufacturing factory in India with a capacity of 7.5 GW/annum points to some of the initial success of the “Make in India” initiative. (It is important to note that it is too early to predict whether this will remain just an announcement).

Conclusion

After two years of lethargic growth, annual solar installations are expected to cross 2 GW in 2015, and another 3-4 GW is likely to be allotted this year. More clarity will emerge during the year as to how exactly the 100 GW target will be achieved. The domestic PV manufacturing industry will benefit once the demand increases. Financing cost, which has been one of the major challenges for setting up solar projects, is also expected to be gradually reduced as a result of the easing of inflation. Overall, 2015 promises to be a good year for the Indian solar sector and the start of a golden era for solar if all the government is able to convert good intentions to reality.