India, today, presents a case study for other members of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on how to make solar power affordable largely due to government's strong push to develop renewable energy, said Mr Ratul Puri, Chairman, CII NR Committee on Power & Chairman, Hindustan Power Projects Pvt Ltd during the conference on "India and the International Solar Alliance: Accelerating Global Solar Deployment" organised by CII and WWF in New Delhi today.
Lauding the efforts of the government on promoting solar energy, Puri said, "During the last few years, India has made tremendous progress in making solar power affordable and has recently achieved a new benchmark of Rs 2.44 per unit (4 US cents) in the state of Rajasthan. This solar tariff is around 25 per cent cheaper than the average price of Rs 3.20 charged by NTPC for electricity generated from coal. This steady decline is due to the tremendous work done by the government in de-risking the solar value chain and introducing progressive policies which has resulted in cheaper equipment costs and better structuring of projects."
According to Mr Puri, under the leadership of Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, India has been systematically progressing towards achieving the 175 GW renewable target with solar contributing to the majority of the incremental capacity. "2017 started with a pipeline of 14GW of utility scale solar projects, of which about 8 GW is expected to be commissioned this year. This is a 90 per cent growth over the previous year's capacity addition. Combined with over 1 GW of rooftop capacity, India's total installed capacity of solar will touch 18 GW by the end of this year', he said.
He further noted that India has successfully integrated the federal structure of the country into solar energy development, and a number of states are successfully executing their customised solar programmes. "These recent developments in the Indian solar industry presents an optimistic scenario for other members of the ISA. India is now in a position to share its learnings with other emerging economies and also learn from successful models globally", he added.
During the conference, Mr Puri called upon the industry to look at ways and means to develop a global solar market for the success of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and also stressed on the need to scale up solar applications, enhancing energy access, skill development, and capacity building in the solar sector. Sharing of innovation in production technologies, storage, training, regulatory frameworks, common standards, and investment including joint ventures were some of the areas of cooperation listed out by Mr Puri under the aegis of the ISA.
As a founder member of the ISA, India has taken the lead in accelerating global solar deployment by initiating international cooperation and starting a dialogue to create a cohesive policy framework and encourage industry engagement. So far 30 countries have joined the initiative. The ISA was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande. The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. The ISA as a potent tool for mutual cooperation among the member countries for mutual gains through enhances solar energy utilization.