In 2014, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a goal to increase solar power capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022—five times higher than the previous target. The 2022 target is extremely ambitious (the world’s total installed solar power capacity was 181 GW in 2014) and would make India a global leader in renewable energy. Moreover, Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, recently said that India aims to achieve its 100 GW solar target as early as the end of 2017.
The question is: Is this target achievable?
India’s total installed solar power capacity stands at 5.8 GW, so the country will need to significantly ramp up the pace of solar capacity additions, from an average 4 GW per year to 15+ GW per year to meet the 2022 target. Critics have been skeptical, citing hurdles like poor transmission infrastructure and lack of access to finance. Yet recent signs show that the country is starting to make serious progress on how it will achieve its lofty solar goals.