In 2015, India introduced its carbon reduction commitments to the United Nations by writing, “Mahatma Gandhi, regarded as the father of our nation had said that we should act as ‘trustees’ and use natural resources wisely as it is our moral responsibility to ensure that we bequeath to the future generations a healthy planet.”  Perhaps this introduction gives some insight to India’s altruism behind the Indian government’s ambitious new goal of a 100 GW target of solar capacity by 2022. Mercatus finds in its newly released Global Advanced Energy Insights Report that, 

“Distinctions between emerging and developed countries are prominent with respect to project size. This trend suggests that smaller-scale distributed generation opportunities are more pervasive in developed electricity markets while utility scale development opportunities are more abundant in emerging markets.”

India, a rapidly developing market, is closely following this pattern. Many of the new solar installations are expected to come from utility-scale PV.  Most importantly, the International Energy Agency (IEA) writes,

India’s energy demand is expected to grow by more than any other country until 2040 propelled by an economy that will quintuple in size.

PV Magazine also found that India will add 7.2 GW of utility-scale solar PV in the coming financial year, despite bottlenecks in power evaluation and grid stability. The Economist also reports India’s energy mix is expected to rise to 12.5% solar by 2025, from less than 1% today, and that;

Solar in India will be cheaper than coal by 2020.

As solar grows, energy companies in India are positioning themselves to tackle the 100 GW goal. In April, Suzlon Energy, one of India’s largest renewable energy companies, acquired 5 solar power developers. It’s likely to use these companies to participate in upcoming solar power auctions with competition in India’s solar auctions are heating up. At the end of 2015, record-low bids for the Indian market were submitted SBG Cleantech and SunEdison at RS 4.63 per kWh (US$ 7 to 8 cents per kWH).

IEA continues that by 2040, 340 GW of wind and solar capacity is expected to be added to the grid, making India the world’s second-largest solar market. With 1.3 billion people needing electricity, the size of the country’s population indicates demand for new renewable energy sources is unlikely to slow anytime soon. The increase in domestic energy generation is far below India’s consumption needs. By 2040 more than 40% of India’s primary energy supply will still be imported from elsewhere. It’s fair to conclude, as our predictions state, that utility scale solar generation in India will flourish like other developing markets. There will have a plethora of opportunities for solar utility-scale power in India in the near term since this power will be crucial for its rapidly developing economy.

In order for energy producers to take advantage of the opportunity that the growing Indian market presents, strategy and execution will be critical. With increasingly advanced technologies in geographically diverse places, businesses will be presented in unique challenges. Adequate tools will be needed to manage increasingly complex operational processes. However, the companies that are able to capitalise on these opportunities will gain a competitive advantage through digitising their business processes, with greater visibility into their operations, optimised cost structures and increased agility.

For more insight into opportunities in other emerging markets, check out our Global Advanced Energy Insights Report Vol. IV.