Indian government maps out solar parks as it chases 100GW ambition

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The Indian government has identified 12 solar park locations capable of housing up to 13.75GW of capacity in the next five years.

Piyush Goyal, the minster for power, coal and new & renewable energy, has said he wants the country to target 100GW of solar power by 2022, an increase in the previous target of 20GW by the same period.

Now the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has confirmed that it has found 12 of the 25 sites where it will establish solar parks with capacities of between 500-1,000MW.

Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary of the MNRE told the Press Trust of India news agency that Mizoram could add its name to the list of interested states and provinces that had already agreed to host a solar park.

“Andhra Pradesh has proposed to have a 2,500MW park, Telangana 1,000MW, Madhya Pradesh is keen to have two parks of 750MW each, Karnataka a 750MW park, Rajasthan has identified land to set up projects as big as 4,000-5,000MW and Odisha and Punjab to have around 3,000MW each,” he said.

If all of these projects were completed on time, it would add a further 13.75GW to the country’s 3GW of installed solar by 2020.

Meanwhile, consultancy Bridge to India said this week that while the 100GW goal, which is not yet a formal target, is ambitious it is achievable.

In a briefing note it recommends an annual target of 5-7GW for the next few years with a push on distributed solar projects bolted on to that once a market structure could be developed to support it.

There was a small setback this week in the search for appropriate land in India when the Ministry of Defence said it could not spare land for 1GW of solar, offering up enough for a third of this instead. The new government of prime minister Narendra Modi had previously outlined plans to release defence sites of up to 1,000MW of solar.

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