India nearly doubled its cumulative solar energy capacity to 2.18 gigawatts last year. The very populous nation added just over 1 gigawatt of solar power to its power grid in 2013. This is part of India’s goal to reach 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity by 2017, and doubling that to 20 gigawatts by 2022.
As part of the upcoming solar development, India is planning to build the world’s biggest solar power plant, in Rajasthan in the northwest of the country. India is hoping to set a worldwide trend of building large-scale solar power plants.
In terms of overall renewable energy capacity, India has grown its capacity from 4 gigawatts to 27 gigawatts during the past decade. Wind power accounts for around two-thirds of that capacity, which hydro and biomass making up about about 5 gigawatts combined.
It’s certainly encouraging to see signs of fast renewable energy development in India, and big plans for more, because demand for electricity is growing and more than half of the country’s electricity capacity still comes from coal-fired power plants. Imports of coal reached an all-time high last year.
However, in a good sign for the future, as Think Progress has pointed out, even Coal India (the largest coal company in the world) has started investing in solar power plants to cut costs. Even some fossil fuel giants are seeing the benefits of starting to move toward renewable energy.
Image: State of Gujarat, Gujarat solar park
Via Think Progress