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Monday, February 27, 2017
India Just Broke a World Record With Its New Solar Farm
India is now home to a 10 square kilometer (over 6 square miles), 648 MW solar farm, the largest in the entire world.
The country has one of the fastest growing economies and is getting increasing amounts of energy from renewable sources.
plant was built in only eight months, comprises 2.5 million individual
solar modules and cost $679m to build. It is estimated that it will
produce enough electricity to power about 150,000 homes at full
Installed solar capacity and cost in India. Image: Bridge to India
Leading the World in Renewables
signatory of the Paris Agreement, India is forecast to meet its
renewable energy commitments three years early and exceed them by nearly
half. The country is aiming to generate nearly 60% of its electricity from non-fossil sources by 2027.
is a particular focus: it makes up only 16% of renewable energy
capacity now but is set to contribute over half of the renewables target
by 2022: 100 gigawatts of 175 GW.
Large installations will be key to achieving this, and the government
is planning 33 solar parks in 21 states, with a capacity of at least 500
Plugging a Gap
solar is not just an investment in the future, though. India is one of
the world’s fastest growing economies, and its energy use has doubled
since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency.
Last year, the country declared that it had a power surplus for the first time ever, though The Hindu
reported that 300 million people still don’t have access to electricity
and power cuts continue to be ‘rampant.’ The issue, it appears, is that
capacity remains unused in the grid because some state power companies
simply cannot afford to buy sufficient electricity.
The Indian government has recently launched an energy ‘blueprint’, and raised its investment target for solar energy to $100 billion in an attempt to address both these near-term issues as well as securing its energy supply far into the future.