Availability of solar power in India

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  • With over 300 clear and sunny days every year, the calculated solar energy incidence on India’s total land area is about 5000 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and most parts receiving 4-7 kWh per square meter per day, makes solar energy a very profitable option.
  • The solar energy available in a year exceeds the possible energy output of all fossil fuel energy reserves in India.
  • As per data released by the MNRE, cumulative capacity of solar is7 GW for the year ended March 31, 2016. This will, in effect, generate power worth only a fifth of such a capacity as opposed to if it were to be installed in other modes of generation.
  • The daily average solar-power-plant generation capacity in India is 20 kWh per square meterof used land area, equivalent to 1400–1800 peak capacity operating hours every year with available technology.


Production of solar power

  • Country’s solar power generation capacity stood at over 9 GW as on December 31, 2016 with Tamil Nadu having the largest output capability followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat. Total power generation capacity was approximately 9,012 MW as on December 31, 2016.
  • India’s cumulative solar capacity has grown to almost 8 GW of ground-mounted grid connected power as on October 31, 2016, and this is swiftly mounting. Interestingly, sixteen major states have set personal targets for capacity addition under separate state solar policies.
  • Tamil Nadu led the chart followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat, data confirmed by Power Minister Piyush Goyal. Further, the output from renewable power increased more than 26 per cent throughout 2016-17
  • The capacity addition from these state targets adds up to 50 GW of power. Recalculating this figure in terms of CUF, the deliverable power is close to 10 GW.
  • In January 2015 the Indian government expanded its solar plans, leveling ambitiously US$100 billion in investment and 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.
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