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Is India’s Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) wasting precious Indian Taxpayers’ Money

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SECI to become a Power Developer

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been made the nodal agency to help the government implement a target of 100 GW of solar power by 2022. This non-profit company has till date helped in the bidding process by putting out tenders for grid scale and rooftop power plants for the central and state governments. However, the mandate and competencies of this organization is not clear. SECI is also planning to become a developer by setting up a 300 MW wind solar hybrid plant in Andhra Pradesh and 10 MW floating solar plants in 3 different places in the country.


I do not know what sense it makes for SECI to become a power developer. It would make much more sense for NTPC or some other state owned power utility to be a power developer. SECI does not have the expertise in power generation or selling, nor does it have competencies in maintaining and operating these power plants. Also these floating power plants are good demo projects, but not a viable power supplying solution to India’s energy demand issues. These are very expensive to build as compared to a normal land based solar power plant. While there is a good reason that land in India is scarce so a water based solar power plant makes sense, but the high costs implies that land costs in India will have to go up by 20-30x before water and land based solar plants can compete. While building demo 1-2 MW power projects on canal is good for demo and marketing solar, it is not a commercially feasible solution for a poor country like India.

Read more about Floating Solar Power Plants.

While the Indian government has made a tremendous effort in popularizing and increasing the usage of solar power in the country at low costs, organizations like SECI may derail it without a clear agenda and role. Getting into a developer’s shoe does not make sense and seems like institutional overreach to me. Maximum governance and minimum government implies that SECI should only make polices and do the monitoring part, leaving the implementation to more efficient private players.

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), set up primarily to facilitate the growth of solar power, is going ahead with plans to become a renewable energy developer itself. After having set up a solar project in Rajasthan, it will soon embark on two projects: a 300-MW hybrid project, comprising both solar and wind energy in Andhra Pradesh, and floating solar plants across Kerala (10 MW), Andhra Pradesh (10 MW) and Lakshadweep Islands (5MW).

Source – ET


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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    Floating solar installations makes sense in places where there is shortage of land. As a measure of promotion it may be OK but when land is available and rooftops are available, I cannot understand why these projects are being put up.
    When farmers are being promoted as “developers” , why not SECI. At least SECI will learn from their mistakes.