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The story of India being front runner in development of solar energy by 2050

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 Leave a Comment

Today it was a "warm" morning with the report by IEA (International Energy Agency) for all the solar project owners and enthusiasts in India. The finding concurred with the views expressed on solarishi.com.

1.      India after USA will be the front-runner in development and adoption of solar energy. Thanks to high solar insolation and proactive government policies.

2.      CSP and PV are expected to contribute around 11 percent each towards the solar energy's share of meeting the quarter of global energy demands by 2050. The rest (around 3 percent) will be solar heating applications. Thus, instead on looking them as competing technologies, they should be viewed as complementing ones.

The PV Story

India and China both are increasing investments in Solar PV space but China is currently leading by building large PV panel manufacturing capacity of approximately 2 GWs. On the other hand, India has around 10 fully integrated players manufacturing solar cells, solar panels and complete PV systems around 50 assemblers of various kinds. These players are able to supply only 200 MW for rural, remote area and industrial requirements. This makes China more cost competitive than India. The need of the hour is heavy support towards building up dedicated SEZs for integrated PV solar manufacturing and investments in R&D.

The CSP Story

India and China has to again face competition for investments in CSP where one company recently showcased plans to develop solar towers of capacity of 1 GW and 2 GW respectively. Gujarat and Rajasthan, the two north western states where due to high solar insolation, utility-scale CSP power plants can be established. Electricity from CSP plants as shares of total electricity consumption can increase from 5 percent in 2020 to 40 percent in these two states. There are not many India-based players which have capability to provide CSP technology and solutions.

What needs to be done to reach these targets will be discussed in subsequent stories.

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