India's Solar Capacity May Rival U.K.'s With 9 Gigawatts Seen Online By March

Solar Rooftop Panels and Microgrids in Rural India

Workers inspect a solar power microgrid, in the village of Dharnai in Jehanabad, Bihar, India. Modi’s campaign to generate 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 is elevating India into the ranks of the world’s top solar-power-producing nations.

Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
  • Capacity of almost 3.8 GW seen added in next two months
  • Government says solar capacity may rise to 21 GW by March 2017

India’s installed solar capacity will probably cross the 9 gigawatt threshold by March, bringing the country closer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious renewable energy targets, according to a government website.

India added about 5.25 gigawatts of new solar capacity to the grid as of Jan. 31 after ending the previous year with 3.7 gigawatts of installed capacity, according to data on the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s website. An additional 1.5 gigawatts were installed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Modi’s campaign to generate 100 gigawatts of solar power by 2022 is elevating India into the ranks of the world’s top solar-power-producing nations. At 9.1 gigawatts, the U.K. was the eighth biggest solar-power producer last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. India’s investment push has has attracted companies including the SunEdison Inc, SoftBank Group Corpand Fortum OYJ.

Another 3.8 gigawatts of solar projects should be commissioned by March 31, almost all of which will be through state-led policies, according to the website. The government said an additional 12 gigawatts of capacity will be added in fiscal-year 2017, which begins April 1.