India is still going strong on its 22GW solar power generation target by the end of 2022. Last week, the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India signed a remarkable Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to set up 7,500 MW of solar power projects in the state.
Two thirds of these projects will be constructed in the Ladakh region while the rest will be constructed in the Kargil region of the state. This initiative follows another recent announcement of a 4,000 MW "ultra mega solar power project" in Rajasthan which equates to over 11.5 GW of solar projects agreements in just two months, a figure that surpasses the power capacity of total solar power installed in the US.
Energy security is a big concern in India, with the country still needing to provide electricity to hundreds of millions of people who currently have no or irregular access to power. Solar prices have already swept past fossil fuels in terms of price efficiency meaning solar is the cheapest medium of energy but still requires efficient policies and support from central as well as state governments in order to provide the whole country with a plausible clean energy solution to the energy crisis.
A report titled ‘Desert Power India 2050 - Integrated Plan for Desert Power Development’ published by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited states that the Ladakh region has 11,177 sq. km of wasteland area and if five percent of that can be used for solar, it would allow for an installation of 38.2 GW of solar power, a point which highlights the unexplored energy potential in India.
The US' recent complaint against India’s solar industry is slight against a country that has been adopted a progressive outlook towards adopting renewable energy and is actively working to move away from fossil fuels.