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Solar Power Industry

Background
India's power sector currently has an installed capacity of 228 GW. As India's energy requirements have been expected to increase by 200% from FY 2015-30, 175 GW of renewable energy will contribute to 18.9% of India's entire power consumption in 2022. India is expecting an unprecedented increase in energy demand that is likely to double by 2030. Most of this demand will be driven from East and North-East India as most of the development in the coming days will be from this region. The target for East India itself is 13 GW of solar capacity. Scalability, easy of deployment, and an abundant availability of sunshine across East. North East India has positioned the region as a bright region to focus on for this sunshine sector.

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Government of India in 2010.The government has established annual targets to reach 100 GW of grid-interactive solar power capacity by 2022, of which 40 GW should comprise of solar rooftop capacity I off grid sector and 60 GW for utility scale and solar park projects. This would make India one of the largest green energy producers in the world. To implement the above targets an investment of over 160Billion $ is required in the next seven years according to MNRE.

West Bengal, has an estimated potential of generating 2,206 MW (excluding solar) of electricity from RE sources. The West Bengal Electricity Regulatory Commission (WBERC) has mandated 4% of total procurement of electricity from RE sources as Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) by 2012-13. Government of West Bengal has formulated the Policy - "West Bengal Policy on Co-generation and Generation of Electricity from Renewable Sources of Energy, 2012" for accelerating development initiatives for the promotion of alternate energy sources in the State.

Solar Power Demand Trends inWest Bengal and SE Asia
As the degree of urbanization in West Bengal is rapidly growing at the rate of 3.92% (Sultana, 2015) energy demand is estimated to be at a high. The projected peak demand is between8,937 and 10,871 MW in 2021 increasing to about 14,730MW by 2031. States in East and North-East India have less than 30% households with (electricity) access. The most significant milestone that the nation must achieve is 100% households having 24x7 quality supply of electricity. The State levelPerspective Power Planning Committee (2006) has projected the aggregate demand for electricity to be between 66,368 and 71,351 MU by FY 2021. In the recentpast the demand of domestic consumers grew 19 per cent and with rapid industrialization, the same electricity demand growth can be seen in the industrial and commercial sector.

The development of Southeast Asia in the next 30 years will require a lot of energy. To fuel an average 6%+ economic growth Southeast Asia will need to boost its electricity production from an estimated 180 GW capacity to 460 GW in2035. In the business-as-usual (BAU) case, Southeast Asia'sprimary energy demand is projected to increase from 554.8 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2010 to 1,110.2 Mtoe in 2035 at an annual rate of 2.8%.

Solar energy is also likely to reach grid parity sooner than anticipated and become competitive with conventional energy sources, in light of increasing coal prices, decreasing module prices, technological innovations, and increasinginstallations. According to India Ratings and Research report,Solar power is likely to become cheaper than or equivalent to conventional thermal energy prices over the next two to three years and reach Rs.4-4.5/kWh by FY18

Opportunity
In light of these trends - including a shift in the East India's solar market from policy-driven incentive-based projects to parity-driven projects - tremendous potential exists forinvestors, developers, and equipment suppliers to experiencesuccess in the solar sector. Solar energy is fast-approaching grid parity and emerging as a cost-competitive solution. In light of reducing solar costs, increasing grid tariffs,increased customer awareness, strong policy support, and on-ground net metering implementation across all East and North-East India states, solar proves to be a massive market opportunity for investors, developers and manufacturers alike.

West Bengal -A preferred destination
West Bengal, the gateway to East India, has the ability to successfully unleash the growth of rooftop solar and could lead to spillover benefits through technology, skills, business models, and experience that can move the country forward to providing energy access for all by 2022.

Germany has been leading innovations in manufacturing within the solar sector and has become a global leader in the sector with companies like Siemens, Bosch, SMA, Kacoetc leading the way. Indians have a high preference for German technology and innovation in certain areas, an example of the same is SMA and Kaco having 25% of the inverter market share in India. German engineering is sought after and to ensure its accessibility to the Asian Market, companies there must consider setting up manufacturing or assembling units in India for controllers, inverters and other critical components. German companies have alarge market in India and Asia which will lead the solar growth in the world. Kolkata can serve as a gateway for these companies and can look to partner with West Bengal based enterprises to setup such a facility. West Bengal has a high concentration of very reputable solar companies. In addition, GIZ has been actively working with West Bengal Government in the field of Energy Access and Solar Roof Top installations. GIZ can play a major role in facilitating partnerships for manufacturing facilities.

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