India is making a $100 billion bet on solar energy by 2022, but it’s doing so with “megasolar projects” designed to be 500 MW in size or more. The problem with projects that size is that India can’t get its centralized fossil fuel industry to run properly, and adding massive energy sources with intermittent energy supply may only make the problem worse.
The better solution for supplying energy to India’s remote, underserved population would be through distributed energy sources like rooftop or small solar projects. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 2 GW of 20 GW built by 2022 should be distributed solar, but those projects have been slow to develop. One deal signed this week may finally show that distributed solar is getting its day in India.