July 2, 2018 Read More →

India’s huge solar goal a ‘brilliant statement of intent’

The Guardian:

India says it intends to launch a tender for 100 gigawatts of solar power, 10 times the size of the current largest solar tender in the world–another Indian project scheduled to open for bids next month.

But analysts have said the country has neither the infrastructure nor the energy demand to warrant installing so much solar capacity in one go, saying the announcement reflects the scale of India’s ambition to become a renewable energy leader.

It is one of several green power promises made by Delhi this month on the back of continually falling renewables prices, with implications for coal projects including the proposed Adani Group mine in Queensland, Australia.

The Indian power minister R.K. Singh flagged the 100 GW tender at an event in Delhi last week. While discussing a world record 10 GW solar tender set to launch in July, Singh reportedly told the audience: “Now [we] will bring out a bid of one lakh megawatts which would also include solar manufacturing and storage.”

One lakh refers to 100,000 in the south Asian numbering system, equivalent to 100 GW. His office confirmed the plan to the Guardian but declined to provide further details other than that the tender would be launched “in the near future”.

The unscheduled announcement surprised some energy policy specialists who said it was unrealistic and unnecessary. “I don’t think a 100 GW tender makes a lot of sense,” said Tim Buckley, a director at the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, but adding he thought the plan was a “brilliant statement of intent.”

More: India’s huge solar ambitions could push coal further into shade

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