Solar Mission will launch India as a leading PV Market

India’s photovoltaic solar energy market is emerging and set to show strong growth. It has the potential to become one of the largest markets in the world before too long. India already has the world’s best solar resources, and solar energy could offer a solution to a country still struggling heavily with continuous electricity shortages.

Late in 2009, India’s government announced its National Solar Mission: an ambitious plan that aims to achieve 20,000 megawatts of cumulative installed solar power by 2022. This mission includes a feed-in tariff system comparable to incentives that boosted leading PV markets such as those of Germany, Spain, and Italy. This, combined with the country’s remarkable solar irradiation, could lead to a quick boom in the Indian PV market.

These are some of the conclusions published in a market report by Solarplaza. The report describes the current PV market situation, analyzes India’s market potential and future prospects, and provides an extensive overview of all the relevant stakeholders in the Indian PV Market.

Cumulative installed solar power in India is 110 MW, and in 2008 only 3 MW were added. An average year-on-year growth of 68% will be needed to reach the target of 20,000 MW by 2022, the majority of this coming from grid-connected projects. This growth scenario would appear to be feasible within the context of the proposed incentives. Based on this target, India will change from a production hub into one of the largest PV markets in the world. The angle of greatest interest regarding the Solar Mission is not only that it will provide clean and safe (solar) electricity to millions of people, but that it will also create tens of thousands of jobs at the same time.

Over the next three years, India’s PV market volume is forecast to grow to more than 600 MW in a Business-As-Usual scenario and to 2250 MW in an accelerated growth scenario.

The cost of solar electricity generation is expected to fall significantly from INR 12 to INR 8 per kWh within a span of 10 years (2008 to 2017), while grid electricity prices are expected to rise to around 8 INR by 2015. Based on these forecast developments, India has the potential to reach grid parity between 2017 and 2020.