NTPC, the Indian state-owned utility is set to collaborate with German institutions Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy (ISE) and DLR Cologne on various solar research programmes, via its R&D arm called NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance (NETRA). It plans to set up research and evaluation centres for CPV, CSP and solar PV to conduct knowledge-sharing and capacity building programmes alongside the German institutions.

Germany and India have a history of solar and energy collaboration. In October last year, Germany announced its plans to offer concessional loans worth EUR 1 billion to Indian solar projects over the next five years, on the back of the Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership programme. Over the past few months, NTPC has been involved in a number of solar park tenders in the country, with Fortum Finnsurya Energy, a Finland-based developer, winning 70 MW of capacity in Rajasthan at a throwaway price of INR 4.34 per kWh in January a few months back.

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Source: The Hindu

In more positive news for the sector, Coal India Limited is underway on its mission to develop 1 GW of solar projects across the India to reduce the carbon footprint. It is now planning to tender the remaining 800 MW of power, with 200 MW already in the pipeline for Madhya Pradesh. The entire 1 GW capacity is to be owned by Coal India.

An increasing number of companies in India are seeing a shift to solar power of late. ArcelorMittal, the steel giant, recently started planning on a 500-600 MW project in Karnataka and RattanIndia Power has a 200 MW solar PV project up its sleeve, to be developed on a 324 hectare plot in Punjab.

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