India Approves 20GW Solar Plan

India has set a target of building 20 gigawatts (GW) of solar power capacity by 2020.

The country’s cabinet approved the $19 billion solar plan on Thursday, according to Reuters. The country, which has an abundance of cloudless days, hopes to create a market for solar installation to rival the growing market in China.

The plan creates incentives for production and installation, as well as research and development and financial incentives for utilities.

The ambitious solar plan also solidifies India’s negotiating stance in climate change negotations–exhibiting a determination to step away from the development of expanded fossil fuel powered generation. 

The first phase of the plan calls for 1 – 1.5 GW of solar capacity by 2012.

Last week, Enfinity and Titan Energy Systems, a manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) modules, announced a collaboration to develop, finance and construct 1 GW of PV installations on 3000 acres of land in Andhra Pradesh over the next five years.

The joint venture Tata BP Solar also stands to benefit form the new solar plan. In 2008, the company said it hoped to eventually scale up production to 300 MW of solar cells per year.

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