India Emerges as Solar Energy Hotspot

India emerged as a solar energy market hotspot in 2011, as the Indian government set a goal of scaling up solar power generation from 20,000-megawatts (MW) to 20,000-MW by 2020. Government support to achieve the ambitious target is attracting private sector investment from a host of domestic, as well as some foreign, solar energy industry participants, the latest one being Talma Chemical Industries.

Part of the Bhanshali family group of companies, Talma Chemical Industries is diversifying into solar energy with the launch of Visual Percept Solar Projects, according to an Economic Times of India report. Through Visual Percept, Talma plans to invest Rs 1,700 crore (~USD 37 million) in solar energy projects with capacity totaling 100-MW.

Private Sector Leveraging Indian Government’s National Solar Plan

Vallabh Bhanshali, the patriarch of the Bhansali group of companies, made his fortune as an investment banker perhaps best known for introducing Infosys to the capital markets. Having sold the investment banking and brokerage arms of domestic financial services provider Enam to Axis Bank in 2010, he’s been looking to expand and diversify since, the Economic Times recounts. His nephew, Akash Bhanshali, is leading the Visual Percept Solar Projects venture.

The Indian government’s plans to rapidly scale up solar power generation is attracting investments from India’s largest industrial and power companies and conglomerates, including Tata Power, Reliance Power, GMR Energy and Adani Power.

On Jan. 13, Bangalore-based GMR Energy Ltd. announced the commissioning of its first 25-MW solar power plant at Charanka Village in Gujarat’s Patan district. The grid-tied silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) system is providing clean, renewable solar energy to private sector utility Gujarat Urja Nigam Ltd. as per a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) under the Gujarat State Solar Policy.

GMR Energy’s plans call for installing more than 100-MW of renewable energy in India over the next two years.

*Photo courtesy: CoolGreenMag

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