Bengaluru: Not even one percent of India’s solar potential tapped: Study

Bengaluru, Aug 18 (IANS) Not even one percent of India’s total solar energy potential has been harvested till date, a recent study by Deloitte and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has revealed.

All this while the National Institute of Solar Energy has estimated India’s solar power potential at 749 GW.

The study also revealed that installed solar power capacity in India grew from 14 MW in 2010 to 3,744 MW by March 2015.

“There are 300 million people in India without power; 400 million people are supplied erratic power; more than half the population of India does not get proper power,” said Ashish Khanna, CEO, Tata Power Solar.

Speaking at the CII Annual Power Conference here on Tuesday, Khanna lauded the government of India’s ambitious target of achieving 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022 compared to China’s 100 GW by 2020.

The central and state governments have embarked on initiatives like rooftop solar projects, solar parks, standalone mini-grids for rural electrification and off-grid applications such as solar cookers, lanterns and others for producing maximum solar power in India.

About use of solar power in Karnataka, G.V. Balaram, MD, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development, said: “Excluding rooftop solar power generation, plans are afoot to increase solar power generation to 20,000 MW using wastelands by 2020.”

Balaram said 500 MW solar power capacity will be added in Karnataka in the next six to eight months.

“Karnataka’s solar policy aims to install 400 MW solar rooftop projects by 2018. Harvesting solar energy through rooftop installation not only enables flexibility but also reduces dependence on diesel-based captive and back-up generation units for industrial and commercial consumers,” said M. Maheshwar Rao, MD, Karnataka Power Corporation Limited.

The annual power conference will brainstorm on policy issues and challenges, new and emerging technologies, grid evacuation, availability and load despatch and innovative financing models in the solar power sector.

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