Key highlights in 2016 include record project volumes - both for capacity addition and issue of new tenders, improving power Distribution Company (DISCOM) financial position as a result of UDAY scheme, steep fall in equipment prices, improving M&A activity and India's ratification of climate accord adding credibility to the country's ambitious 100 GW target for 2022.
The year has been bountiful in all respects for the sector with most key indicators growing 2-3x over last year. The country added total solar capacity of 4.9 GW (estimated), an increase of 101% over 2015 and crossed the 10 GW cumulative installed capacity mark. New tenders were floated for 9 GW of grid connected solar projects including 900 MW for rooftop solar systems.
Green seems to be the catchword for the government in 2017 as it gears up to achieve 175 Gigawatt of clean energy by 2022 through auction of 1,000 MW of rooftop solar power, Rs 13,000 crore investment in solar parks and a Rs 21,000-crore package to boost local manufacturing of panels. By all yardsticks, 2016 remains a watershed year when solar tariff slumped to Rs 4 per unit and wind projects received a major thrust. The government is set to switch gears in 2017 to make India a hub for one of the largest installations of clean energy sources by 2022. The ministry has in its sight Rs 1 lakh crore investment for the sector and is looking at 20 GW of power generation from non-conventional sources in 2017-18.
Beginning with speeding up the tempo for solar panel installation at homes, schools and hospitals through subsidies in 2016, plans are afoot to expand the rooftop program me to government buildings by providing target-based incentives. In the November auction of 500 MW, subsidies for installation of as much as 432.7 MW of rooftop solar capacity were lapped up by 122 developers. A fresh tender for one gigawatt (1,000 MW) is now in the works.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is eyeing generation of 100 GW from solar power alone by 2022. The target is ambitious and it is about making it happen. This National Solar Meet will be held with an objective to bring together policy makers and technology experts from across India to discuss how each stakeholder can play its part in realizing the set targets. The meet will focus on achieving the following parameters
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