KOCHI: The solar scandal in Kerala has affected not only the politicians but also the production of solar energy, it appears. The state is at the rock bottom at the national level in solar energy, while Karnataka is at the top slot having 5 GW of cumulative installation (5000 MW=5 GigaWatt ). Kerala has only 76 MW. In 2017, Karnataka, which has made significant strides in IT too, installed over two GW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity and, in the first three months of 2018 alone, the state matched the annual total with the installation of over two GW of solar PV projects.
The development comes just two years after leading renewable energy firm Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker found in 2016 that Karnataka had the country’s largest project pipeline, boasting 3.4 GW of projects in various stages of development. Out of the 17 states having 50 MW and above installed capacity, Kerala is at the 15th place, Haryana at 17th and West Bengal at 16th place. Only eight states have an installed capacity of over a GW of solar power.
Apart from Karnataka, they are Telengana (second), Rajasthan (third), Andhra Pradesh (fourth), Tamil Nadu (fifth), Gujarat (sixth), Madhya Pradesh (seventh) and Maharashtra (eighth). The other states above Kerala are Odisha (14th), Bihar (13th), Chhattisgarh (12th), Uttarakhand(11th), Uttar Pradesh (10th) and Punjab (9th).
The Cochin International Airport Limited is currently the major contributor to Kerala’s solar capacity adding 32 MW and it’s set to hike this to 40 MW by the end of May, according to a CIAL official. Telengana was the first state to achieve more than three GW of cumulative solar capacity in 2017. Later Karnataka overtook Telengana to claim the top spot.