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‘Solar Zones’ policy announced by India to spur large-scale solar projects


With it being an exciting and electrifying week with the opening of the Gigafactory (that we will of course be reporting on) it is also important to note other developments across the world!

India has been in the news, as we’ve seen, lately with their admirable efforts to speed up their country’s transition to more sustainable energy sources. We have already seen India announce its plan for all their cars to be electric by the year 2030, and more recently, we saw the country’s transport minister offer up its land for Tesla. Fast forward to today, as reported by Planetsave, India has now publicized their initiative to “identify and designate ‘solar zones'” in the country.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy states in the beginning of their ten-page document that they seek to have a total of 10 ‘solar zones’ with each of them having around 10,000 hectares of either government or private land. They continue on to state their main objective for the program:

The scheme aims to provide a huge impetus to solar energy generation by acting as a flagship demonstration facility to encourage project developers and investors, thereby helping the country in achieving its target of 100,000 MW by 2022. The solar zones will enable the States to bring in significant investment from project developers, meet its Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mandate and provide employment opportunities to local population. The State will also reduce its carbon footprint by avoiding emissions equivalent to the solar zone’s installed capacity and generation. Further, the State will also avoid procuring expensive fossil fuels to power conventional power plants.

To reinforce their point, they express why India is a great place to implement such a campaign. For example, they argue that with how rapidly the economy and population is growing in its country, the more imperative it is to have access to “clean, cheap, and reliable” energy. Further, they proceed to state that India is fortunate enough to be…

endowed with huge solar energy potential with most of the country having about 300 days of sunshine per year with annual mean daily global solar radiation in the range of 4-6 kwh per meter square a day.

With a country so rich in solar energy, it is, seemingly, an easy project to get behind and support. Additionally, with Tesla announcing its commitment to “integrate energy generation and storage” via their Master Plan: Part Deux revealed last week, it will be interesting to see how Tesla and India’s relationship plays out.

And while some might be skeptical that this undertaking can be completed by the target goal year of 2022, India, nonetheless, continues to set the pace for transitioning to sustainability.

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