An ambitious, $19.5 billion, five-year expansion of a previous domestic industry spending program includes money to attract investment into the sustainable energy and transport technologies.
Covid-19 hits to demand and bill payment collection have worsened the plight of the nation’s already debt-crippled power distribution companies, prompting the government to order an exceptional relaxation of lending limits.
Negative second-quarter updates from China and uber-low new-solar figures from India, however, show the world is far from out of the woods yet.
The prime minister again emphasized the need for India to develop its own solar manufacturing industry and also urged officials to get on with plans to make the region of Ladakh carbon-neutral.
The nation’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has reiterated that clean energy projects have not been affected by falling electricity demand as a billion citizens have been ordered to stay at home.
An AFP newswire report this week said Ministry of New & Renewable Energy secretary Anand Kumar had announced plans for 30 GW of generation capacity in the state of Gujarat and 25 GW in Rajasthan, all of it along a 20-25km strip of semi arid land on the border.
Talk of ‘grid-parity’ and ‘subsidy-free’ solar has had industry figures cherishing the ideal of a sector that can operate free of the caprices of government but a peer behind the latest global PV funding figures demonstrates just how dependent on policy the solar industry remains.
With Narendra Modi’s government stunning pollsters with another huge win, the solar industry expects renewable power momentum to be maintained with steps including anti-dumping duty on solar module imports, a national policy for rooftop solar and an emphasis on easing private-sector participation in the power sector.
While the world’s biggest solar manufacturers are confident there are plenty of alternative markets for a rising volume of panel exports, the message spelled out by first-quarter shipment figures is that protectionism works.
Narendra Modi’s BJP party is seeking re-election with the aim of ensuring the electrification of all railways by 2022 and turning renewable energy into a popular movement with steps including an emphasis on solar farming. Even if the elections spring a surprise, however, the renewable momentum is unlikely to slow as no government can afford to roll back the clean power tide.