India Increases Solar Capacity
Benefiting U.S. Solar Companies
India is going solar in a big way. This year, more than 4.4 GW of solar infrastructure is expected to be installed across that country, although just 1.1 GW of that will likely be online by 2015.
From PV-Magazine, reporting on the consulting group Bridge to India’s analysis:
“Bridge to India is predicting the announcement of 1.6 GW of new solar capacity under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM) along with an additional 2.8 GW of projects under five state solar programs.
“But…of those announcements, it expects only 350 MW to come to fruition in the calendar year – 200 MW in Andhra Pradesh, which allows 12 months for commissioned projects to come online and 150 MW in Tamil Nadu, which permits a delay of only 10 months.”
CleanTechnica reports that the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh could add as much as 1 GW each, with other states adding several hundred MWs each.
Between August 2011 and July last year, India’s solar capacity expanded from just 2.5 MW to more than 1,000 MW. When the state of Gujarat’s 600 MW solar facility came online and connected to the power grid in 2012, it was the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power facility.
Meanwhile, despite India’s restrictions on solar tech imports, U.S. solar companies have benefited significantly as this solar boom continues. Although the U.S. has lodged a WTO complaint stating that India violated rules on solar tech purchases (a claim India dismissed last week), talks are expected to begin over the matter soon.
But, as Bloomberg reports, the majority of India’s domestic solar projects utilize U.S.-imported thin film, of the kind manufactured by First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR).