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Why India’s hilly state Himachal Pradesh’s 700 MW solar policy target is stupid

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Himachal Pradesh Solar Policy

India has got a very ambitious target of installing 100,000 MW of solar power by 2022, up from around 5 GW now. The government has given a lot of incentives and is also pushing things on the ground to get solar energy moving. However, some of these efforts seem misplaced in my view. India’s hilly tourist state of Himachal Pradesh’s policy for increasing solar energy in the state, does not seem very intelligent or well thought of. The state already generates lots of renewable power through its large hydro energy resources. It still has large amount of hydro power unexploited in both small hydro and large hydro. The state is already power surplus and manages to provide the citizens of the state with reliable power at low cost, without indulging in subsidies. However, boosted by the central government policy, it wants to install 700 MW of solar power through a large solar park in a remote part of the state. The problem is that most of the power generated will be expensive. Evacuating power from a hilly state is expensive, given the terrain requirements. A dedicated power line to the solar park will increase the costs of developing the solar parks, as well as the generated solar power.

Himachal Pradesh having lower population also does not have high power requirements in the future, given low industrialization. This power will have to be sold to other states, which means that the transportation costs will increase. It would be better off building large solar power plants in plain areas of Rajasthan, with much lower land and evacuation costs. India needs a holistic national solar policy framework, rather than each state going helter skelter on its own. Though electricity is a state subject and state governments have jurisdiction, someone in the central policy think tanks need to evaluate what would be best from a national perspective rather than an individual perspective.

It might be better off using the land to build a nice tourism resort, rather than for millions of solar panels. HP should reformulate its policy for lower solar power and more hydro power. It can buy the solar power from other states and should generate power where its advantage is.


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

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. R Mishra

    Although it is agreeable that HP may not be the best place for setting up a solar park; however, one off park in a state should not be a problem. Note that 700MW is not even 1% of govt. 100GW target and it may be good to use transmission lines already built for hydro projects. My view.