MNRE presses all Indian states to define their own solar policy


India’s minister for power, coal and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, has requested that all of India’s individual states submit a solar policy to the central government as part of the country’s ongoing push to ramp up its PV portfolio.

Acting as the head of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Goyal released a written statement in the Lok Sabha – India’s Assembly of the People – stating that 14 states have so far issued solar policies, and revealed that a draft "model solar energy policy" has been sent to all states to offer guidance on how to meet clean energy targets.

Goyal also revealed that the MNRE has sanctioned 348 MW of new grid-connected rooftop PV projects across India, and has sought further private and foreign investment in the country’s wider renewable energy sector, which, the minister added, still has plenty of untapped potential.

"An estimated potential of 897 GW has been identified from various renewable energy sources in the country," said Goyal. "This includes 749 GW from solar, 103 GW from wind, 25 GW from bio-energy and 20 GW from small hydro power."

Foreign guidance

Goyal confirmed that the World Bank has "shown interest" in financing a solar PV project in the state of Andhra Pradesh, and it was also revealed this week global service network giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been brought on board by the Indian government to draw up a roadmap for the scale-up of the country’s solar footprint.

PwC will assess India’s PV potential and critique MNRE’s current energy policies in an effort to fully determine a realistic power demand projection for the country. The analysts will also evaluate grid parity projections and the assess the capability of India’s grid, power evacuation systems and wider networks in handling rapid expansion to 100 GW of solar feed-in, which is the government’s stated aim for 2022.

With a little more than 3 GW of cumulative solar PV capacity currently installed, India will have to add more than 12 GW of new solar PV capacity annually in order to reach its current solar target.