India’s National Solar Mission gets off to a jump start, to exceed target this year

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India is set to nearly double its solar power generation capacity in the ongoing financial year and comfortably exceed its target of adding 1.8 GW of extra capacity during the year.According to numbers obtained from various government sources, the country is all set to end the current financial year with a total solar power generation capacity of about 6 GW.In comparison, India had only 3.5 GW of operational capacity in February of 2015. Moreover, the performance and efficiency of solar PV plants that have been put up under the National Solar Mission has also turned out to be better than global average.The performance of the industry this far will be a shot in the arm for the ministry of new and renewable energy or MNRE, which has a target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022.According to India’s National Solar Mission roadmap, the country was supposed to add 1.8 GW in the year ending this month, taking the total to about 5.5 GW. Next year, India has a target of adding 7.2 GW and in 2017-18, it plans to add 10 GW.Out of the total 100 GW to be achieved by 2022, 40% is supposed to be added in the form of rooftop solar and 57 GW in the form of large power projects or farms.The 57 GW planned capacity addition will also include concentrating solar thermal plants in addition to photovoltaic, or dry, plants.So far, nearly all the installations have been built using PV or photovoltaic technology, which is extremely low-maintenance as there are very few moving parts involved.

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