On the back of a two-day blackout in India which caused tragedy, chaos and loss of face at the end of July, Bloomberg has revealed that US solar giant First Solar is drawing out plans to develop solar farms in India as repeated power outages spur on demand for solar power.
Citing Sujoy Ghosh, the new India manager at First Solar who assumed his position in May, Bloomberg revealed that the solar behemoth is targeting a 20% share of India’s PV sales by becoming more than just a supplier. Demand is expected to come from industrial and commercial businesses. The company is expected to be involved in building, arranging finance and supplying modules.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Ghosh said, “As that self-generation market opens up in a country like India with an 18 percent deficit, it would create a natural need for investing into a manufacturing facility here to serve needs of the market locally. Once we turn on the switch, we don’t want to turn it off.”
India currently has a PV capacity of just over 1,000MW, the majority of which was installed in the last 12 months with the help of some government initiatives and private sector funding. First Solar expects to sign PPAs to sell its solar power generated in the country directly to businesses.
India is aiming to become a PV powerhouse. In January 2010, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Sola Mission (JNNSM)’s target of 20GW of installed solar capacity by 2022 was approved. But insufficient funding and planning means that the light at the end of the tunnel is getting smaller and smaller.