What are the challenges before India in achieving its target of 100 GW from solar energy by 2022?
India has committed to increase the production of electricity from solar energy to 100 GW by 2022 under the Paris climate deal. It is highly ambitious target. Significant works have been done to add the solar power capacity. The inauguration of the world’s largest solar power park in Karnataka is an example of it.
The various challenges before India in achieving the target are:
- Anti-dumping and safeguard duties: The Director General (Safeguards) has recommended imposing a 70% safeguard duty on imported solar cells, panels and modules for a minimum period of 200 days. This will result in inflation of the power tariff and the project costs as India is dependent on imports for solar cells, panels and modules.
- GST: In the pre-GST regime there was 0% tax on solar panels. Now it is 5%. This is leading to uncertainties in the minds of investors about the government policy towards solar power.
- Rooftop component: India target of 100GW from solar power is driven by 60% from utility scale capacity and 40% from roof top capacity. While the utility scale capacity has achieved 30% of its target, the rooftop component has achieved only 4%.
The target for solar power is ambitious but not impossible. India needs to undertake a stock of the situation and initiate corrective actions to accomplish the targets. India must achieve the target to cement its place as the global superpower.