High radiation and lots of sunny days in Rajasthan makes it by far the most popular location for projects under the National Solar Mission, an ambitious plan by the Indian government to install 20 million solar lights and 20 million square meters of solar thermal panel, generating 20,000 megawatts by 2022.
The average tariff of all project bids under the second round of the National Solar Mission was as low as 17 cents per KwH. Kumar explains the low cost is possible because ”In western Rajasthan, a Capacity Utilisation Factor of 21% can be achieved. In Germany, the world solar capital, this is typically 13%.”
“The conditions in Rajasthan are so favourable, that it will be amongst the most logical places in the world to implement solar power,” says Edwin Koot, CEO of Solarplaza, a Netherlands-based information platform for international solar energy stakeholders.
Solarplaza is organizing the Solar Future: India II conference on February 29 in Jaipur. “It’s only a matter of time for solar power to take off on a large scale in Rajasthan,” says Koot, explaining the choice of location.
Most of the solar panels used in solar projects there have come from Chinese and U.S. manufacturers, such as First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Suntech Power (NYSE:STP). Investors looking to catch rays in Rajasthan should look at these companies and the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca:TAN), which carries a broad spectrum of Chinese solar technology companies. [Related: Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL), Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE), JA Solar Holdings (NASDAQ:JASO)]
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