Karnataka is rich in solar resources and solar energy in fact complements the conventional sources of energy in a large way. The State of Karnataka is blessed with about 240 to 300 sunny days with good solar radiation of 5.4 to 6.4kWh/m2/day. Karnataka was the first state to commission 3MW capacity utility scale solar project, in India, on 27.12 2009 at Yelasandra of Kolar district.
Global Solar Radiation in Karnataka
- The region of the earth between the latitude of 400 N and 400 S is generally known as the solar belt and this region is supposed to be with an abundant amount of solar radiation.
- Karnataka being located between 110 40’ and 180 27’ north latitude and the geographic position favours the harvesting and development of solar energy.
- Karnataka receives global solar radiation in the range of
1) 5.1-6.4kWh/sq Mt/day during summer,
2) 3.5-5.3 kWh/sq Mt/day during monsoon
3) 3.8-5.9 kWh/sq Mt/day during winter.
- The potential Solar districts in Karnataka
- Kolar 2) Chitradurga 3) Davanageri 4) Ballary 5) Koppal 6) Haveri
7) Gadag 8) Vijayapura 9) Bagalkot 10) Kalaburagi 11) Raichur 12) Tumakuru
13) Hassan 14) Ramanagar 15) Belagavi
In Karnataka the estimated Solar potential is 25GW. However, considering factors like availability of waste lands, evacuation infrastructure etc., and the moderated potential may be somewhat less. Anyway Karnataka has the potential to evolve as a major Solar Generation hub in India due to a host of factors.
Apart from this, Residential, Industrial and Commercial Consumers are evincing keen interest in installing Solar Rooftop plants and this will also add solar power to the Grid.
Karnataka Solar Policy: 2014-21:
To harness the potential of solar resources in the state, Karnataka was the first Southern state to notify Solar Policy in 2011 for the period 2011 - 16. In light of the changes unfolding in the sector and considering the fact that cost of solar power generation has started competing with retail tariffs, Government of Karnataka on 12.01.2017 announced Revised Solar policy for the Karnataka for the period 2014-2021.
It is envisaged to add minimum of 6000 MW of generation by solar during the policy period.
The State policy envisages the projects under following categories
- Grid connected ground mounted utility scale projects
- Grid connected rooftop projects
- Distributed generation (1 to 3MW)
- Off-grid Projects
- Minimum targets proposed for policy period
Accordingly KREDL has taken action to achieve the target set out under the Solar Policy. Till now, totally 9773.34 MW capacity solar projects have been allotted to different developers through various schemes, out of which 7327.41 MW capacity projects have already been commissioned.
Under Land Owning Farmer’s scheme, Government of Karnataka has allotted 314 MW solar energy projects for land owning farmers with a minimum capacity of 1 MW and a maximum capacity of 3 MW for sale of energy to Electricity Supply Companies at KERC determined tariff. Applications were invited online on 09.10.2014 for 314 MW of Solar Grid connected project and the allotment was made. So far 296 MW has been commissioned under this scheme. This unique scheme is being replicated elsewhere in the country.