Solar Power Plants till a couple of years were quite small compared to the mainstream energy power plants.Most power plants were in the double digit range with no Solar Farms having the capacity of 100 MW or greater.This is in reference to PV Solar Power Plants and not to Solar Thermal Plants which are bigger in size.Note Solar Thermal Plants by the very nature of technology require larger sizes to be economical just like Thermal or Nuclear Power Plants.On the other hand PV Power Plants do not gain much in economies of scale and government prefer giving subsidies to distributed rooftop solar installations rather than large solar farms.

Solar Industry is a fast growing exciting industry with its inevitable growth pangs as well.The first phase of India’s Federal Policy has seen many hurdles and its success is in doubt,on the other hand Gujarat has managed to attract investment and power plants through a forward looking subsidy.States like Uttar Pradesh,Delhi,Maharashtra are also tentatively coming up with their own incentive policies.The Industry will see many ups and downs before it becomes a major billion dollar industry.Note Solar Power Industry has become the fastest growing in USA where it doubled last year and looks set to double this year again.The Nuclear Accident in Japan has given fresh energy to Solar Power with China set to double its target to 10 GW by 2015.

India’s Green Companies are seeing tremendous growth backed by the nation’s massive energy demand increase.The 8% Plus Economic Growth coupled with the already massive electricity deficit which makes brownouts of 8 hours a day normal in many places in the country provides the macro background underpinning the growth.India’s Green Industry is still in a nascent state compared to the massive solar and wind industries in countries like China and Germany.However attracted by the massive potential a number of companies small and large have entered the fray.Most of India’s large energy groups,utilities have already established a small presence or are in process of doing so.While Wind Energy is the largest Renewable Energy Industry in India after HydroElectricity,Geothermal Energy is non-existent without a single large commercial plant.Biomass Energy is quite well developed and Solar Energy is the fastest growing Green Industry.Here is a comprehensive list of the Green Companies in India operating in the different Alternative Energy Sectors.

Solar Farms or Giant Solar Power Projects consisting of thousand of solar panels installed on acres of land are increasing rapidly in the USA.While the European governments are discouraging the use of large installations of solar panels,the US is going the opposite way in installing these power plants.The US government recently approved of a number of Solar Thermal Power Projects worth several gigawatt recently.

Note China’s Solar Market is a highly competitive and protected one with outside solar companies hardly having any presence similar to Japan’s market.First Solar which signed a massive gigawatt contract to build a plant in Ordos has seen only delays as Chinese solar manufacturers opposed the plant.First Solar is still trying to build the plant signing a new JV with one of China’s 5 big utilities.eSolar another CSP company got a contract to build a plant with China but till date construction does not seem to have begun there also.The Chinese government seems mostly interested in high-tech technology (First Solar,eSolar) rather than run of the mill players.Even these technology companies have failed to make much headway.Remains to be seen whether SkyFuel Succeeds.

I have been consistently writing that Solar PV has leapfrogged far ahead of Solar Thermal Technology in the last couple of years.The entry of the low cost Chinese with huge scale and the fall in polysilicon costs have suddenly made the future survival of Solar Thermal Technology suspect.The Solar Thermal Advantages of energy storage is also overrated because it is cheaper to add energy storage to Solar PV as the following article shows.Note Solar PV has many other advantages of Solar Thermal anyway.The Rapidly Declining Costs of Solar PV in fact pose a massive threat to all other forms of Solar Technology including Thin Film which has recently seen a number of players gone bankrupt.The recent conversion of Solar Thermal Plants by Tessera,the losses being made by Solar Millenium due to delays are further evidence of the decline and possible obsolescence of Solar Thermal Technology.