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India plans to add 17GW of renewables capacity by 2017

India plans to add 17GW of renewables capacity by 2017, says the country’s Renewable Energy Secretary.

The country will need investment of 1.5tn rupees ($33.6bn) to pay for the expansion as part of its 12th Five-Year Economic Plan, Deepak Gupta is quoted by Reuters telling an industry conference in New Delhi.

India’s existing renewable generation comes to 20GW, accounting for 11% of the country’s total capacity, Gupta adds.

But the country needs to almost double this as part of a 100GW expansion of overall capacity to keep up with economic growth and address security of supply issues.

Gupta, Secretary at India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, says he expects the bulk of the new investment to come from the private sector.

India's politicians are vocally enthusiastic about renewables and the nation has set ambitious targets - for example 20GW of solar capacity alone by 2020. But the experience on the ground does not always match this.

The Asian Development Bank has just offered a $150m guarantee package designed to underpin private solar projects, amid growing concerns that India’s PV sector faces missing short- and long-term targets as investors fail to commit sufficient backing.