MNRE seeks insight on success of India’s policy support for major solar projects

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A 500MW solar project in India. Image: Risen Energy.

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a policy designed to support large-scale solar projects in the country with a combined capacity of more than 25GW.

The ministry has called on consultants to submit an expression of interest as it looks to assess the progress of the ‘Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects’ initiative, which was launched in 2014.

Involving an investment of INR 81 billion (US$1.09 billion), the scheme aims to set up at least 50 solar projects in India each with a capacity of 500MW by 2021-2022 as part of the government’s ambition to reach 100GW of installed solar by the end of next year.

Consultancy firms, which have until 26 August to submit their bids to take part in the study, will be asked to cover whether the programme has achieved its objectives as well as ways to increase the involvement of Indian state governments and the private sector in the scheme.

They will also be tasked with exploring the impact on the local area where solar parks are located and suggest any policy improvements. MNRE said the study should collect information from state implementing agencies, solar park developers and other stakeholders.

India deployed around 2.1GW of solar in Q1 of 2021, taking its cumulative capacity to 44.2GW, according to Bridge to India. The research and consultancy firm said the prospect for future quarters could be complicated by pandemic-associated lockdown measures and increasing project execution costs.

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