Solar power in India is a fast developing industry. The country’s solar installed capacity reached 25.21 GW as of 31 December 2018.The International Solar Alliance (ISA), proposed by India as a founder member, is headquartered in India In 2015 the Indian government raised its solar target to 100 GW of solar capacity (including 40 GW from rooftop solar) by 2022 with the target investment of US$100 billion which though an ambitious target since the world’s installed solar-power capacity is expected to be 303 GW in 2017, is achievable due to the improvements in solar thermal storage power technology in recent years as the cheaper solar power need not depend on costly and polluting coal/gas/nuclear based power generation for ensuring stable grid operation.
The 20 GW capacity was initially targeted for 2022 but the government achieved the target four years ahead of schedule.India expanded its solar-generation capacity 8 times from 2,650 MW on 26 May 2014 to over 20 GW as on 31 January 2018. The country added 3 GW of solar capacity in 2015-2016, 5 GW in 2016-2017 and over 10 GW in 2017-2018, with the average current price of solar electricity dropping to 18% below the average price of its coal-fired counterpart
Rooftop solar power accounts for 3.4 GW, of which 70% is industrial or commercial. In addition to its large-scale grid-connected solar PV initiative, India is developing off-grid solar power for local energy needs. Solar products have increasingly helped to meet rural needs; by the end of 2015 just under one million solar lanterns were sold in the country, reducing the need for kerosene. That year, 118,700 solar home lighting systems were installed and 46,655 solar street lighting installations were provided under a national program; just over 1.4 million solar cookers were distributed in India. In January 2019, Indian Railways announced the plan to install 4 GW capacity along its tracks.
With about 300 clear and sunny days in a year, the calculated solar energy incidence on India’s land area is about 5000 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year (or 5 EWh/yr). The solar energy available in a single year exceeds the possible energy output of all of the fossil fuel energy reserves in India. The daily average solar-power-plant generation capacity in India is 0.20 kWh per m2 of used land area, equivalent to 1400–1800 peak (rated) capacity operating hours in a year with available, commercially-proven technology