Indian solar on a roll


India aims to produce 1,300 megawatts of power by 2013 according to its Solar Mission plan that was released last year. This number is set to increase by up to ten gigawatts by 2017. The investment that has been planned for the mission stands at US$70 billion.

This plan is set to be achieved with Debashish Majumdar, chairman and managing direcor of the Indian Renewable Development Agency telling Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit that the aim of 1,300 MW can be realised by December 2012. According to his statement, India would have reached at least half of its target by December next year.

India has approximately 1,500 to 2,000 sunshine hours and 300 sunny days per year, location dependant. According to Science Direct's ‘Sustainable production of solar electricity with particular reference to the Indian economy', this translates to five trillion kilowatt hours per year.

This has spurred foreign investment in the field of solar into the country. Local solar giant Tata BP Solar understands the potential in Indian solar as well. Two days ago, U.S based energy firm Bergamo Acquisition Corporation announced that they will cooperate with an Indian company to set up 1000 MW of solar thermal power plants across India. Siemens recently launched its renewable energy business in India. Siemens has launched its renewable energy business arm with 30 employees and intends to add 70 more over the next year. Equity firm Blackstone invested US$300 million in one of India's leading solar cell manufacturer Moser Baer. With investments not stopping, India is clearly on the right path.

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