The state government in Rajasthan, India has laid out a plan to install 50 gigawatts of solar capacity by 2025 and establish itself as a global solar hub, PV Magazine reports, in a post republished by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).
“The new policy aims to achieve 25 GW of grid-connected solar projects up to 2021-22 to fulfill the renewable purchase obligation of state electricity distribution companies (discoms) from PV,” IEEFA writes. “The state will also endeavour to develop solar projects for sale to parties other than state discoms, and for commercial self-consumption.”
As a result of the new investment, Rajasthan “envisages an R&D hub for the deployment of renewable energy technologies and solar-wind hybrid projects, with a focus on improving efficiency and reducing balance-of-system costs,” the news report adds.
The plan covers a range of photovoltaic solar system sizes, from decentralized, grid-connected projects in the 500-kilowatt to three-megawatt range, to solar parks ranging up to 500 MW and beyond. For the larger projects, “the state government will invest up to half of the equity required, including the cost of land, in joint venture companies formed for their development,” IEEFA says.
But industry insider Gopal Lal Somani warns that the plan “has gaps on issues such as land acquisition, the huge transmission network required for the influx of solar, the creditworthiness of discoms, and permit processing for land use,” and will depend on “an investment-friendly environment and cost-economic benefits for developers to take investment decisions,” IEEFA adds.