Country’s solar power generation capacity stood at over 9 GW as on December 31, 2016 with Tamil Nadu having the largest output capability followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat, Parliament was informed today. Total power generation capacity was 9,012 MW as on December 31, 2016. Tamil Nadu led the chart followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat, Power Minister Piyush Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha. “As on December 31, 2016, Gujarat (1.16 GW), Rajasthan (1.32 GW), and Tamil Nadu (1.6 GW) have crossed 1 GW solar installations…, while Andhra Pradesh (0.98 GW), Telangana (0.97 GW) and Madhya Pradesh (0.84 GW) are close to these states,” he said in written statement. The minister said solar power development varies from state to state depending on solar irradiance, availability of conducive state policy for the sector, availability of land, cost of financing and business environment such as willingness of DISCOMS to purchase the solar power, power evacuation infrastructure, etc.
On falling solar tariff, the minster stated in another statement to the Rajya Sabha that the tariff determined by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in case of solar photovoltaic projects is Rs 5.68 per kWh and Rs 5.09 per kWh without and with accelerated depreciation benefit, respectively. He further said that in Rajasthan, the tariff after bidding came to Rs 4.34 per kWh. The government is promoting solar energy through fiscal and promotional incentives such as capital and/or interest subsidy, tax holiday on the earnings for 10 years, generation- based incentive, accelerated depreciation, viability gap funding (VGF), financing solar rooftop systems as part of home loan, concessional excise and custom duties, preferential tariff for power generation from renewables, and foreign investment up to 100 per cent under the automatic route, etc. This apart, the government has been supporting solar manufacturing by way of various mechanisms such as Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS) of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), the minister said.