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Washington Post: India's Solar Industry "finally taking off"

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According to an article in this morning's Washington Post, India's solar power industry is "finally taking off," although "massive hurdles must be overcome before it can make a meaningful contribution to the country’s rapidly growing power needs, experts and business leaders say." Here's an excerpt (bolding added for emphasis):

Two years ago, as part of its National Action Plan on Climate Change, India set out to boost the solar industry through subsidies, setting a generation target equivalent to around 3 percent of the country’s projected power needs by 2022.

The private sector has responded eagerly. With the price of solar energy dropping sharply, and with sun-drenched western states such as Gujarat and Rajasthan launching their own drives to subsidize solar power, many say the target will be more than met.

India is a very important market for the solar industry, one of the top three markets worldwide,” said Jayesh Goyal of California-based concentrated solar power technology provider Areva Solar. “The general view is that India will reach the 3 percent target before 2022.”

The logic for the Indian solar sector appears almost irrefutable.

India enjoys more than 300 days of sun a year and is desperately short of electricity to power its fast-growing economy. Power cuts are frequent, and reliance on noisy, expensive and polluting diesel-generators is widespread; some 400 million Indians are not even connected to the grid.

In sum, these are exciting times for solar power in India.