A solar tracking system can make a major difference to the output from two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects located in the same area and having the same or similar PV modules and balance-of-plant systems. However, decisions regarding the use of a tracker can often be difficult for developers and may involve significant trade-offs between increased output, and the cost of installing a tracking system and maintaining it.

Operational efficiency is crucial for the success of both solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) projects. Solar tracking systems, which help solar panels in absorbing the maximum radiation at any given time, are witnessing rapid uptake globally. These tracking systems can align solar equipment with respect to the sun's changing position during the day, thereby maximising the power output.

The country has a small-hydro power (SHP) potential of about 15.4 GW. Of this, only 22 per cent (3.4 GW) was developed as of March 2012. The main reason for the slow growth is the lack of funding opportunities for the segment owing to the risks and challenges associated with SHP project development. These include a long gestation period, the lack of large developers and the absence of a strong regulatory framework.

Small-hydro power (SHP) capacity of about 2,400 MW has been added in the past 15 years. However, developer interest in the segment has decreased in recent years.

As of mid-October 2012, India's small-hydro power (SHP) capacity stood at 3,434 MW. Of this, about 1,850 MW across 600 projects has been developed by the state sector. Though private sector participating in the SHP segment has been increasing over the last few years, the role of state agencies in the growth of the SHP segment is expected to be critical.

A small-hydro power (SHP) developer can either sell power directly to the state utilities at feed-in-tariffs determined by the state or indirectly through renewable energy certificate (REC) trading. In the latter case, the power generated is sold to the state discom at the average power purchase cost (APPC) or used for captive consumption and/or third party sale at marked-based prices.

After establishing itself as the leading Indian state in terms of installed wind capacity, Tamil Nadu has announced ambitious plans for solar power development. With a reasonably high solar installation of 5.6-6 kWh per square metre and around 300 sunny days per annum, the state aims to ramp up its installed solar base from about 15 MW to 3,000 MW by 2015.

The wait for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) Phase II policy seems to be over with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) releasing the draft policy in December 2012. Based on the experience of Phase I, a larger agenda has been envisaged under the second phase of the mission.

A considerable amount of time and monetary resources have been spent by corporations, governments, researchers, scientists and engineers to promote the use of solar power based generation systems. Though innovative government policies are mainly credited for reducing solar power costs from Rs 17 per kWh in 2006007 to Rs 8-Rs 9 per kWh currently and increasing the grid connected capacity to around 1,000 MW, advancements in research and development (R&D) have also played an important role.

By mid-June 2012, India's total grid-connected solar capacity reached 1,025 MW. Though states such as Gujarat have led the race in harnessing the country's solar potential by formulating policies that benefit developers, it is the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) that has attracted established global and domestic developers to the Indian solar power sector.