Country’s solar leader Rajasthan set to add 30,000 MW capacity in next 3 years | Jaipur News – Times of India

They call it energy from heaven. In Rajasthan, it is almost like a divine intervention. People in the vast desert expanses, lived with a stoic endurance of untold hardship the geography unleashes, never imagined the harsh rays would turn into hopes.
As the country steps on the gas to minimize the dominance of energy from coalbased plants, Rajasthan has taken the steering wheel to make solar the energy of the future. Today, the desert state produces the largest quantity of solar power in the
country, having an installed capacity of over 14,000 megawatt. Given the prospects of new projects and advantages of the whole ecosystem, the number one solar energy producer will remain the leader in times to come.
Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd MD Anil Dhaka says, “The new project pipeline is very robust. Projects of 19,000 MW are already in various stages of approval process which will come on stream by 2025. But we are looking to add 30,000 MW. ”
The emergence of solar energy as a viable source has been shifting sands in the desert regions of the state that were crying for livelihood opportunities and critical resources for development. What was a bane in about 15 years ago has come as a boon, making the uncultivable land productive, the uneducated employed, while creating contractors, vendors, suppliers and service providers out of ordinary unskilled people.
More than that it has attracted hundreds of educated youths in the state and offered them a launchpad for their entrepreneurial journeys. Industry estimates suggest that Rajasthan has added around 650 companies in the sector. TOI talks to a few to understand their experiences.
Sunil Bansal | Founder, Diwakar Solar & president of Rajasthan Solar Association
One of the earliest solar entrepreneurs, Bansal says that when he entered the business in 2008, it was simply an intuition of a bright future for the sector. After post-graduation he was into traditional businesses.
“I have been part of the industry when the tariffs were over Rs 17 per unit of power, just before the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched in 2010. But as the prices of solar panels crashed in subsequent years, everybody realised that it is a matter of time before solar reaches, at least, the rates at which traditional power was sold. In fact, today, it is cheaper than coal-based thermal power,” says Bansal.
He says that in coming years, Rajasthan will be the ground zero for generation projects given the availability of cheap desert land, high solar insolation, and the transmission infrastructure.
“People running big businesses in big cities are coming to Rajasthan to meet their power needs, thanks to the interstate transmission (IST) infrastructure and policy. Solar energy is called infirm power and it is produced in the day only. But with hydrogen projects, that handicap will be a thing of the past. Hydrogen produced through solar energy can be used at any time and place. Similarly, pump storage is another technology where infirmity will cease to exist. These, in addition to IST projects, have immense possibilities for Rajasthan,” says Bansal.
Rajeshwar Singh Rajpurohit | Founder, Ultravibrant Solar Energy Pvt Ltd
Rajpurohit left two government jobs as an electrical engineer and two private jobs, but finally found his true calling in the solar sector. The advancement of technology and the steep fall in panels had already made solar very lucrative when he joined the sector in 2015.
Purohit says, “I don’t belong to a business family, but after working a few years in Mahindra Solarize, I realized that it is going to grow big. In the past seven years, I have installed solar rooftop projects worth 35,000 kilowatt. While the margins have been squeezed in recent years due to an influx of new players, I think it’s the best business to be in. I feel proud I am contributing to a sustainable future. ”
Ramakant Jangid | Founder, Corona Soltech
After an engineering degree in 2013, Jangid tried to prepare for government jobs but gave it up thinking of inordinate delays due to paper leakage, reexaminations, etc. After a year in HDFC Bank as junior accountant, he entered the solar pump business in 2017. But as margins got reduced, he set up his engineering, procurement, and commissioning (EPC) venture Corona Soltech.
“Last year, my revenues were Rs 9 crore. This year, it is on course to hit Rs 15 crore. If solar has to be a country-wide movement, then rooftop has to play a bigger role. We expect the government to provide us with a stable policy which will help us to plan ahead and keep commitments,” says Jangid.
Prateek Agarwal | Founder, Solar91 Cleantech Pvt Ltd
After passing out from IIT Roorkee in 2013, Prateek Agarwal worked for Reliance Industries. But soon he got disenchanted with the world of fossil fuel as he started tracking the rise of solar power, which was getting cheaper by the day then.
“I had an entrepreneurial streak and that came to fore when I saw the viability of solar energy,” says Agarwal. He says the if businesses are allowed to buy power from generators without much tax burden and system fees, open access will be a game changer.
“It has already been driving the sector, but some irritants need to be removed. Secondly, the state needs to push solar equipment manufacturing which will create an avalaunche of economic activities in the state. ”

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