The ambitious growth of the Indian National Solar Mission (NSM) has taken another leap closer towards a revised 175 GW clean energy target this week following the news that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has greenlighted an additional six large-scale solar projects.
In total, the MNRE said, there are now 33 approved solar parks across 21 states nationwide currently at various stages of development. Once completed, these solar projects will add 19.9 GW of new PV capacity, thus edging India closer to its goal of achieving 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be solar PV.
Energy Minister Piyush Goyal chaired a Parliamentary Consultative Committee between MNRE representatives and officials from the countrys largest utility, NTPC, to deliver an update on what has become one of the worlds most enigmatic renewable energy programs.
Goyal confirmed that India now has more than 5 GW of connected solar PV capacity, echoing reports last week that the country is on course to end March on around 9 GW bringing India level with the U.K. in terms of cumulative capacity. The minister also reasserted the MNREs belief that India can end 2016 with 18 GW of PV capacity still a long way short of the pace required to reach its 2022 goal, but certainly an encouraging expansion considering where the industry was a mere three years ago.
The additional six solar parks confirmed serve to increase Indias PV pipeline from 18.4 GW confirmed at the end of 2015 to 19.9 GW, meaning the country is on course to hit its 20 GW goal for solar derived from "ultra-mega" power plants.