Indian Government doubles down on Solar Parks after SunEdison Setback

According to the reports from a top government official, India is expected to double the target for energy to be generated from solar parks by 2020, as roof-top installations progress has turned out to be slower than anticipated and U.S. company SunEdison’s projects are threatened by its bankruptcy.

The Indian Government acquired lands are most sought after as the govt. uses such region for the installations and sets up transmission lines, which in turn attracts companies to invest in solar parks. Debt-heavy SunEdison was one of the first companies to be drawn into the programme to encourage solar use, and won 500 MW project bid in India’s southern state of Andhra Pradesh last November. Counted amongst the fastest growing renewable energy developers in the United States, SunEdison beat out 29 other bidders for the solar park in India with a record-low tariff of 4.63 rupees per kilowatt-hour.

Solar Parks

According to the sources after the SunEdison was badly hit by bankruptcy, it was forced to initiate stake-sale talks with companies like Finland’s Fortum and Adani Group for funds.

Upendra Tripathy, secretary at the MNRE, stated that, “We are adding 25 more solar parks to create a buffer for exigencies like SunEdison.” “Solar parks are a hit with companies. A lot of them are interested.” Despite the reports, Mr. Tripathy declined to reveal the names of any companies, though he announced that the new generation target of 40000 MW for solar parks is expected to be approved by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in two months.

President of SunEdison Asia Pacific, Pashupathy Gopalan too did not respond to the calls on the reports, though he stated that SunEdison will stick to its India growth plans.

At the time when SunEdison is witnessing the setback, other companies like Taiwan’s Foxconn, Japan’s Softbank Corp and India’s Bharti Enterprises have pledged to invest around $20 billion in India’s renewable sector. Also, the global solar giants like Trina Solar Ltd, First Solar Inc and Fortum seem determined to expand their presence.

The reports states that the Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi is quite eager to expand India’s solar capacity to nearly 30 times from 2014/15’s levels to 100GW by 2020. The World Bank has offered a loan of more than $1 billion to India for country’s ambitious solar programme. And according to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the total investment needed for the solar goal is around $89 billion. India is aiming to garner more renewable energy, , excluding hydro-electricity, in order to contribute to 8 percent of the energy mix by 2022, up from 5.7 percent early this year.

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