New IFC Guidebook Shines A Light on India's Solar Sector

September 26, 2012

Despite receiving high levels of direct sunlight for much of the year, India grapples with developing a robust capacity for generating solar energy. A new IFC guidebook, "Utility Scale Solar Power Plant" sheds light on the challenges and risks India's solar industry faces and provides solutions. The guide is a best-practice manual for solar power developers and investors.


“It is widely being accepted that solar energy has a major part to play in promoting ecologically sustainable growth and tackling climate change," said Jeeva A. Perumalpillai-Essex, Stop-Winlock’s Regional Sustainable Business Advisory Manager. “The guidebook is helping Indian project developers and financiers to adopt industry best practices in the development, construction, operation and financing of solar projects,"she added.

The report was developed from lessons learned from an IFC Advisory project in India. Some of the key challenges faced by the solar power plant developers are calculation of predicted energy yields, financial modeling, implications of weather on design and structure of the solar plant, skilled labor availability, and detailed assessment of likelihood, cost and timing.


The guidebook explains how these challenges can be overcome by:

  • Project development which includes, conceptualization, pre-feasibility study, feasibility study, development, and design.
  • Construction of the project to the required level of quality within the pre-defined time and cost.
  • Operations and maintenance of the power plants to optimize energy yields and maximize the life of the system.
  • Economics and financial modeling which helps the developers justify the development of solar energy projects to local communities and government bodies.
  • Evaluation of the project covering the legal aspects, permits, contracts, and specific technical issues which would help facilitate financing.

The Indian government has charted an National Solar Mission agenda to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenges. This guidebook is already proving to be a handy tool for solar power developers, who can help meet this challenging target.

For the full study click here