The Indian government has posted the most optimistic estimates of solar power capacity addition for the financial year 2015-16. The Indian government expects the states to take the lead in capacity addition probably for the first time since the launch of the National Solar Mission in 2009.
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy estimates that 4,345 MW solar power capacity would be added between April 2015 and March 2016. A huge majority of this is expected to come from the states which organized auctions under their respective policies. Under the central government’s schemes, projects would be commissioned under the last auction of National Solar Mission conducted by the previous government.
Giving a state-wise breakout of the expected capacity addition, the ministry stated that 1,214 MW capacity would be added in Tamil Nadu and 1,166 MW capacity would be added in Telangana. The 2 states alone would thus contribute over 50% of the total capacity addition expected. Madhya Pradesh (432 MW), Andhra Pradesh (350 MW), and Punjab (229 MW) would also contribute significantly through their solar power policies.
Under the central policy, projects would continue to be commissioned that were allocated under the auction of Batch I Phase II of the National Solar Mission. The auction was held in mid-2013 and projects were allocated in early 2014. A total capacity of 750 MW was allocated under the auction. A majority of this capacity is already operational, however, 330 MW capacity is yet to be commissioned and is expected to come online by March 2016.
Additionally, 240 MW of rooftop solar power capacity is also expected to be commissioned this financial year.
The Ministry has given details of the ‘scheduled’ capacity addition as per the requirement under auctions. Some additional capacity may also be added under the Renewable Energy Certificate scheme.
During the first 6 months of this financial year, 518 MW solar power capacity has been added, taking the total installed capacity to 4.26 GW. The ministry had announced a target of adding 1.4 GW capacity during this financial year’s budgetary announcement.