Solar power capacity crosses 8,500 MW

indexSource: The Hindu Business Line, Oct 04, 2016

Chennai: The total installed capacity of solar power in the country has crossed 8,500 MW as of September 30, 2016, according to Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm.

Cumulative grid-interactive solar energy installed capacity stood at 8,643 MW, up from 7,805 MW on June 30, 2016 and 6,763 MW on March 31, 2016.

Four states have crossed the one GW solar installation mark. Out of the 8.6-GW installed so far, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have had significant activity and account for 59 percent of total installations.

India currently has 14 GW of solar projects in various stages of development and another 7 GW waiting to be auctioned.

Solar installations are continuing to grow, even with a slowdown in power demand, a decline in capacity utilisation among thermal projects, and the availability of cheap power on power exchanges across the country.

“The challenge is going to come next year when approximately 9 GW of solar power is forecast to be installed. Unless the ‘must run’ status for solar projects is strictly enforced we are going to see some challenges,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

For the present calendar year 2016, Mercom is forecasting solar capacity addition of about 4.8 GW. So far installations have reached 3.8 GW.

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