The Kamuthi Solar Power Project, in Tamil Nadu, covers almost four square miles and can produce 648MW of power. That’s quite a leap over the previous world champion, the Topaz Solar Farm in California, with a capacity 550 MW.
India’s solar push contradicts the idea that developing countries will cause massive carbon problems as they demand more and more electricity. The Kamuthi plant, which cost $679 million and comprises 2.5 million solar modules, puts India well on its way to becoming the third-biggest solar market next year, after the U.S. and China, according to Al Jazeera. By 2030, India plans to produce 40% of its power needs from renewables.
Construction of the plant took just eight months, says the Times of India, with up to 8,500 people working on it a day. India has a history of carrying out green plans in startlingly short timescales. Earlier this year it planted almost 50 million trees in 24 hours as part of a reforestation plan that is intended to help mop up CO2 from the air.
The Tamil Nadu region is India’s most productive spot in terms of renewables. Right now most of that comes from wind, but it is planning to increase solar to “replicate the success,” says Clean Technica.
India and China are now both strongly pushing renewables. This is important because these countries are both huge. Both are home to to around 1.3 billion people, and both are investing heavily in renewable power. China has only just surpassed Germany in terms of installed solar capacity, but is adding new capacity 10 times faster. So while the U.S.’s environmental policy is likely to become a global disaster under Trump, at least there’s good news from the rest of the world.