BHUBANESWAR: Managing Director of Solar Power Corporation of India (SPCI) Jatindranath Swain said India is on the right path to achieve the ambitious generation target of 100 gigawatt (GW) of solar power by 2022.
Speaking at a national symposium of ‘Energy Challenges and Promises’ here on Saturday, he said solar energy sector has travelled a long way with the total installed capacity of 32 GW while another 18 GW is under installation and 24 GW is in various stages of tendering.
“In 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inquired whether India can generate 100 GW of solar energy, it had most people rubbing their eyes in disbelief as the country had a meagre 2.8 GW of installed solar capacity then. With three more years to go, 100 GW of solar energy generation appears a distinct possibility,” Swain said.
The tariff of solar energy, he said, has also come down from Rs 8 per unit to Rs 2.44 per unit and it was now cheaper than the cheapest source of energy - thermal power.
It is estimated that 749 GW of power can be generated assuming only three per cent of the wasteland utilised for it. The potential is best in Ladakh, though it has issues of evacuation of generated power.
“States like UP, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Chhattisgarh need to do more to attract more investment in solar power,” Swain added.
Energy Secretary Bishnupada Sethi said Odisha Government has identified the challenges in the power sector which was crucial to the State’s economy and is venturing into solar and other avenues for generation of electricity.
“All thermal plants would be shut down in 20 to 30 years as the State is striving to become carbon neutral,” Sethi said. DG of International Solar Alliance Upendra Tripathy inaugurated the symposium and Chairman of Indian Energy Congress Pravakar Swain presided over the meeting.