India revises benchmark PV costs

Under the revision, India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has said the benchmark costs for systems with batteries will now be set at INR 270 (around USD$5.93; €4.38) per watt peak, while those without battery banks will be set at INR 190 (around USD$4.17; €3.08) per watt peak.

Furthermore, the Central Financial Assistance (CFA) has been reduced by roughly 20 percent. Therefore, it will now be set at INR 81 (around USD$1.78; €1.31) per watt peak for systems with battery back-up, and INR 57 (USD$1.25; €0.92) per watt peak for those without battery storage.

For Special category states/North-East States, the CFA will now be limited to INR 243 (around USD$5.34; €3.94) per watt peak for battery back-up and INR 171 (around USD$3.76);€2.77) per watt peak without battery systems.

Under the National Solar Mission Program, the target is to achieve 20 gigawatts (GW) of grid connected PV capacity and two GW of off-grid. With the above revision, it appears that PV costs are well on path to achieving grid parity in India.

Until December 2010, 22.01 megawatts of grid connected systems have been commissioned. In total, 121,634 street lighting systems, 619,248 home lighting systems, 813,380 portable lanterns and 7,495 agriculture pumping systems have been installed in the country.