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India Misses Solar Target With 20-Fold Jump in Capacity in Year

A maintenance worker cleans solar panels manufactured by Tata BP Solar India Ltd. at North Delhi Power Ltd.'s (NDPL) Keshavpuram power station in New Delhi, India. Photographer: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Bloomberg

Indian solar power capacity expanded 20-fold in the past year to at least 356 megawatts, a third of the targeted level, after infrastructure, financing and weather-related delays, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The country planned to install 1,233 megawatts of central government, regional and pilot projects, the researcher said.

“Many projects in Gujarat state were delayed because of transmission infrastructure problems, rains, and delays in financial closure,” said Bharat Bhushan, Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s New Delhi-based solar analyst. Some are just being completed and more capacity is expected by March, he said.

The plans by the world’s third-largest energy consumer to boost capacity have provided relief for panel makers struggling with slowing growth in developed markets. Germany, the largest market for the technology, said yesterday it will cut subsidies for solar more rapidly to control costs, driving down shares of companies including Suntech Power Holdings Co. and LDK Solar Co.

Gujarat, running India’s largest solar program, has only commissioned 186 megawatts of the 933 megawatts of photovoltaic plants due by Jan. 28, New Energy Finance’s data shows. Of 140 megawatts awarded by central government auction, 75 are built.

India had 17.8 megawatts of solar capacity in December 2010, according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

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