The report notes that while there is only 8.5 MW of operational CSP in India, 500 MW is under development through Phase 1 of the National Solar Mission.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC, Washington, D.C., U.S.) and the Council on Energy and Water (CEEW, New Delhi, India) have released a new report which asserts that concentrating solar power (CSP) has an important role to play among renewable energy technologies in India.

"Concentrating solar power: Heating up India’s solar thermal market under the National Solar Mission" cites CSP’s ability to incorporate low-cost thermal energy storage as an deciding asset in meeting the power needs of the nation. The report also identifies obstacles to the development of CSP and provides recommendations to support the long-term feasibility of the technology.

"After experiencing the world’s largest blackout this summer, the Indian government knows the urgent need to improve grid stability and provide affordable electricity to hundreds of millions of people," said NRDC India Initiative Senior Attorney Anjali Jaiswal.

"As India enters Phase 2 of the National Solar Mission, we are looking to the Indian government to support flexibility in the domestic solar industry by fostering confidence, investment, and innovation in concentrated solar power."

500 MW of CSP under development

The report finds seven large-scale CSP projects underway in India through Phase 1 of the National Solar Mission (NSM), which when complete will bring the nation 500 megawatt (MW) of additional CSP capacity, from its 8.5 MW current capacity.

However, unlike many PV projects from Phase 1 of the NSM, none of these projects are complete. NRDC and CEEW note that in addition to the long time that it takes to develop CSP projects, that the technology also faces high initial capital costs and a lack of confidence in the CSP market overall.

Clear roadmap for NSM phase 2 needed

The report recommends that the nation’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) lay out a clear roadmap for Phase 2 of the NSM in order to provide long-term signals for investors.

The organizations also suggest that MNRE increase transparency for public bid processes, investigate delays and monitor timeline extensions.