The Solar footprint in India is steadily increasing with currently 13.11 GW of power being produced

The Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission is an initiative by the Government of India to increase the Solar Power Utilisation in India. It aims to increase the Solar base capacity in India to 100 GW by 2020.

The yearly target-based goals given by the government are as follows :


Year-wise Targets (in MW) 
Category 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19  2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Rooftop Solar 200 4,800 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 40,000
Ground Mounted Solar projects 1,800 7,200 10,000 10,000 10,000 9,500 8,500 57,000
Total 2,000 12,000 15,000 16,000 17,000 17,500 17,500 97,000


This suggests a tremendous potential for renewable energy to replace existing conventional technologies.

This post is a part of a series of Posts that emphasise the feasibility of Solar thermal over Solar PV (Photovoltaic Installations) Find the link to the intro of this series here.

Let us look into Reasons why Solar Thermal Installations are more feasible.

The first reason is that Solar Thermal plants are Cost effective.


   Solar PV   Solar Thermal

  Cost  per MW  

Rs 4.5 – 6 Crore Rs 2.5 – 3.5 Crore
        Cost per unit                    Rs 5 – 6.5 per  kWh                Rs 3 – 4 per kWh   
Tenure   12 – 25 years PPA

 7 -10 years PPA


Solar PV prices have been plummeting for 6 -7 years – from 21 crores five years ago to around 5 crores as of now. Solar thermal still remains at a base rate of 2.5 to 3.5 crores for every MW installed.This translates to 4.5 to 6 rupees per KWh for Solar PV in Pay-per-unit agreements given by AAA rated companies. Solar thermal is considerably cheaper – by 30 to 40 percent – rates ranging from Rs 3 – 4 per kWh. This is because Solar Thermal System capital costs are significantly lower than Solar PV systems.

As a result of the lower capital costs, the tenure periods for Solar PV and Solar Thermal are 12-25 years and 7-10 years respectively.

This results in a win- win situation for Solar in both Capital Costs and Savings


In the next post, we shall look into the space requirements when compared to the same power generated.