Harvesting solar power in India

In India, Prime Minister Modi has set an ambitious target of installing 100 GW (100,000 MW) of solar power capacity by 2022. The current solar capacity in India stands at 8 GW as on July end, 2016. Thus, the target of moving from 8 GW in July 2016 to 100 GW by 2022, is one of the most ambitious targets globally. Prime Minister Modi has also set another interesting target to be achieved by 2022, when India celebrates her 75 years of independence. And that is doubling farmers' incomes, presumably in real terms. Given that agriculture still engages almost half the work force in India, and that in recent past, from 2002-03 to 2012-13, farmers' real incomes increased only at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5 percent (Gulati and Saini, 2016), doubling these incomes by 2022 appears stunningly over-ambitious. This paper delves into the feasibility of making substantial progress towards achieving both these targets. The paper focuses on four pillared principle of CISS: Competiveness (cost efficiency) in producing solar power; Inclusiveness by mainstreaming even small farmers in generating solar power on their fields; Sustainable environmentally and financially, and finally Scalable to contribute significantly in achieving these mega targets.

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