India’s Solar Power Industry Booms

India has become the world’s second largest consumer of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy and solar hot water products – behind only China – with a forecast annual installed PV growth rate of 134 percent for the years 2009-13, according latest figures from RNCOS Research.
The RNCOS report, entitled “Indian Solar Market Outlook 2012,” found that solar energy installations in India have been growing “at a phenomenal pace” since 2009. Booming population growth coupled India’s burgeoning middle class is leading to spiralling energy demand. This rising demand, the report states, will further fuel the development of the renewable energy sector in India.
Many states in India have signed up to the country’s National Solar Mission, which encourages the installation of large-scale solar power stations. But it is in the rural regions of India that RNCOS identifies significant future growth potential for solar PV energy systems and solar hot water in particular.
According to the report, the number of solar hot water systems in India is expected to grow by 22 percent every year until 2013. 
“The solar industry has immense potential for a tropical country like India where around 45% of households, mainly rural ones, do not have access to electricity,” the report states. “Solar street lighting systems, home lighting systems, solar cookers, solar pumps and solar water heating systems are the most popular applications in India.”
The RNCOS report says India will only attract more and bigger global solar players. Because of its geographical location, India receives plentiful solar radiation and most part of the country experiences 300 to 330 sunny days per year, equivalent to more than 5,000 trillion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. This, along with government funding for solar energy programs, makes the country an ideal investment destination.