The Indian government has confirmed that it will go ahead with a second phase of its solar power park program.
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The announcement was made by the Minister of Finance in the union budget speech for financial year 2017-18. India will increase the planned capacity addition under its solar power park program from 20 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, along with the Solar Energy Corporation of India, has already identified several solar power projects with cumulative capacity of 20 gigawatts. Under the second phase an additional 20 gigawatts capacity will be added.
While the existing solar power park program has been expanded, the overall installed capacity target remains the same at 100 gigawatts by March 2022.
This could essentially mean that the government recognizes that the planned capacity addition of 40 gigawatts under the rooftop solar segment may be too large of a target.
Recent auctions for solar power parks have received a huge response, with tariff bids falling sharply nearly each time.
Distribution utilities remain unprepared for rooftop solar power systems and consumers also seem unaware about the benefits of the such power systems.
Large-scale solar power parks, on the other hand, have numerous advantages, including low cost, large generation potential, and one-time investment in power generation infrastructure.
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