Concentrated Solar Power: A Promising Future for India
January 03 2011

Source: Google imagesIndia’s renewable energy plan forecasts that the country’s renewable energy market will reach an estimated $19 billion during the period 2008-12. About $15 billion is required to add about 15,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy such as Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) to India’s present energy generation mix. 


India’s National Solar Mission launched at the end of 2009, under the NAPCC plans to install 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2020. To facilitate the realization of this objective, the Government of India commissioned India’s Concentrating Solar Power Program, funded by the World Bank and Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP). Major components of the three year program are:


1) To facilitate deployment of and investments in CSP technologies in India;

2) To build knowledge and strengthen capacity of energy sector specialists and partners in India and in the region on understanding of key technical and institutional aspects of utility-scale concentrating solar power applications; and

3) To build expertise on related project development and implementation.

The one million dollar concentrating solar power program provides technical assistance to the Government of India to overcome barriers that hinder the deployment of solar technology. The barriers include :


  • Lack of ground validated solar radiation data,
  • Performance uncertainties,
  • Undeveloped CSP industrial base,
  • Continuing inequities in public subsidies of energy technologies, and
  • Inadequate policy frameworks especially in developing country context.

The World Bank has had a long engagement in developing renewable energy resources, and has assisted partner countries in their efforts to address issues related to creating a favorable environment for new and proven renewable energy technologies. Bank experience and expertise in policy development and leveraging financial recourses will help set up enabling provisions to accelerate concentrating solar power deployment in India.

To-date, numerous activities have been completed to further concentrating solar power development in India such as:


  • The recent support to the Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference (DIREC) where knowledge about domestic and international practices, new technologies, policy and regulatory developments in solar thermal sector were disseminated.
  • Completion of a study on the local capabilities of Indian manufacturers in developing CSPs.
  • A study on barriers to solar power development in India to provide insights on next steps for accelerated development of solar power in India.
  • Study tour for Indian policy makers and regulators to Spain in June 2010 to gain insight on two main solar thermal technologies, namely, solar tower technology and parabolic trough.
  • Participation of practitioners, policy makers, and regulators in several CSP international conferences.

By 2012, the government of India expects that renewable energy will contribute about 10 percent to the total power generation capacity of India. The success of Concentrating Solar Power deployment heavily depends on a favorable regulatory environment that would provide a range of various incentives to allow Concentrating Solar Power installations competing with conventional power plants.


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