Thorough Planning of Solar Park Mitigates Risk for Investors, Locals

Publication | February 2013

This publication gives an overview of the solar power park in Charanka in India, which has provided local employment, empowered communities, and transformed a desert into a tourist attraction.

India has solar irradiation ranging from 4 to 7 kilowatt hours per square meter per day. Every year, the country has about 300 clear sunny days and about 2,300 to 3,200 sunshine hours.

For 5 years starting in 2004, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) studied the challenges and opportunities of building the world's largest solar park in the state of Gujarat in India. A report by the Clinton Climate Initiative confirmed the state as a solar hot spot, a region with high "direct normal irradiance levels."

Collaboration between state and national governments led to the approval of the 2009 Gujarat Solar Power Policy, which showed private investors India's resolve to deliver 20 gigawatts by 2020. This paved the way for the development of the Gujarat solar power park, which, once fully operational, is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5.2 million tons and save 900,000 tons of natural gas annually. Charanka, a desert village in the Patan District with a population of less than 800, was the first site developed for the Gujarat solar power park.

This publication gives an overview of the solar power park, which has provided local employment, empowered communities, and transformed a desert into a tourist attraction.