India and Japan eye 100GW solar targets

Separate developments in India and Japan last week have served to underline the high level of solar ambition in the region, with both countries now eyeing 100GW targets.

In Japan, the country’s Photovoltaic Energy Association issued a strategy document outlining how Japan solar could reach 100GW of installed PV generation capacity by 2030.

“By 2020, Japan could target 65.7GW of solar capacity, raising the bar from predictions made in 2013 for 49.4GW by that date,” a JPEA statement said.

“By reaching 100GW by 2030, the country would be meeting around 11.2% of its overall power generation demand with PV.”

JPEA also recommends doubling the value of the domestic solar industry from its current 1 per cent of GDP by 2030.

As CleanTechnica reports, solar is about to become profitable in Japan, with residential solar now costing less than half of 2010 prices and comparing favourably to average household electricity prices.

In India, meanwhile, the federal ministry of power has proposed raising its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) mechanism, to help the nation reach its own target of 100GW of solar generation by 2022.

India’s government proposed lifting the original target of 3 per cent by 2022, to 8 per cent, effectively trebling the amount of power generation utilities must source from solar generation, and bringing the date forward to March 2019.

As PV Tech reports, to comply with RPOs, electricity distributors or ‘discoms’ can either generate a minimum amount of renewable power or purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) to make up for shortfalls.

According to consultancy firm Bridge To India, the new RPO target implies an aggregate solar capacity of 69GW by 2019, which is equal to 87 per cent growth per annum.

Although this is compliant with the 100GW target, Bridge To India described it as “nonetheless extremely ambitious”.

© 2015 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson