With tenders being invited to install as much as 4,615 MW solar power capacity under various state and central schemes, 2013 may well be a milestone year for India's renewable energy sector.
When most of these projects materialise, India's solar power capacity will leapfrog from the existing 1,000 MW this year.
"The capacity will at least double this year," said Ajay Goel, CEO, Tata Power Solar.Despite solar power tariff falling from Rs. 10.85-Rs. 12 per unit to Rs. 6-8 levels, many developers are rushing for projects as installation costs drastically came down, thanks to steep fall in equipment price.
"The fall in manufacturing cost has made up for the reduction in tariff. We are still getting decent price for our power," said Pramod Raju, managing director, PR Fonroche, which will soon commission its 20 MW plant in Rajasthan.
Tata Power Solar, which is present in all three segments of solar power industry - equipment manufacturing, building of solar plants and power generation - too sees growth this year.
"Like all others, we also face challenges in manufacturing business but we see growth in both EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and development segments," said Goel.
Climate change concerns, depleting conventional fuel resources, perennial power shortage and availability of abundant sunlight prompted the centre and states to turn to solar.
The centre aims to build 22,000 MW solar power capacity by 2022 through various schemes such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) while various states pursue their independent projects.