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Fast growing Sunrise sector hits corruption hurdle in India

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Indian Solar Industry hit by Corruption

India and corruption have pretty much become synonymous with no sector immune to fraud and scams in India. Now the super fast growing solar energy sector in India has hit the corruption hurdle in India’s southern state of Kerala. Two conpersons have been arrested in relation with a small time scam that has implicated the top ministers in the state. To add to the spice, a film actress has also been arrested for being part of the scam. This actress had ready access to top ministers in the state who were recently seen at her luxurious bungalow.

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Corruption in the solar energy sector is not entirely new as CSE had alleged that Lanco Solar has cornered a number of subsidized solar energy plants during the first phase of JNNSM. This led to a big inquiry by the central government which found nothing amiss with the company or its cornering of a large number of solar farms, through associates and shell companies. Solar energy sector is ripe for corruption given that the industry gets a lot of subsidies. In a country where getting an electrical connection for a normal home requires a lot of bribes, getting higher tariffs for the electricity generated by the solar plants is a lucrative hunting ground for scamsters. Think of rigging your own electricity meter on your plant in collusion with the local friendly electricity company employee to get Rs 10/kwh from ghost units of electricity. A truly sunrise sector!

Juwi which is one of the biggest solar energy developers in Germany (a market which has become saturated) has joined hands with Lanco Solar (a subsidiary of  one of India’s biggest private power companies) to set up a 75 MW Solar Plant in Maharashtra winning a contract from the state power generation company Mahagenco. The contract value is Rs 884 crore which works out to be just under Rs 12 crores/MW or $2.6/watt which is extremely low even with the price of solar panels crashing in the international market. At this price the electricity generated won’t be too expensive and Mahagenco has a good deal. On the other hand  Juwi and Lanco get bragging rights to being the development team for one of India’s biggest solar plants.

 One con woman and one conman took millions of rupees from investors by flaunting their close connection to the chief minister of the state. Meeting took place in the CM’s office to convince the investors of their closeness to the top echelons in the government. The investors were impressed and invested a ton of money with the scamsters. The scam has also led to the jailing of personnel working in the CM office. However like the other scams, expect nothing to come out of it. The politicians will brazen it out till another scam hits the headlines.

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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