Projects using photovoltaic technology, which use panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity, have benefited from a more than 60 percent decline in equipment costs since 2010.
In contrast, solar-thermal plants in India have struggled with cost overruns and delays. Of eight projects that were supposed to be completed by May last year, only one owned by Godawari Power & Ispat Ltd. has been completed.
India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has increased its faith in solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, at the expense of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology. As a result, it has increased its target for installed solar PV capacity by 30%, in FY2014-15, while slashing its CSP target by 90%.The MNRE is expected to auction 1,000 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity, instead of the earlier planned 750 MW in FY2014-15. Of the 1,080 MW solar thermal power capacity initially planned for auction, only 100 MW would be offered to prospective project developers. During the first phase of the National Solar Mission, the Ministry had auctioned 470 MW of solar thermal power in seven different projects. These projects were supposed to be commissioned by the first half of 2012. Till this date, only one of these projects, with a generation capacity of 50 MW, has been commissioned.