How solar PV projects can earn carbon credits?

Renewable energy is helping many countries to complete its economic transformation and achieve energy security.  Solar energy is one of the most abundantly available forms of energy that is be a solution to our everi ncreasing energy demand. The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation in the upper atmosphere. Out of that, approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. There are very few technologies available to harness solar energy and convert it into usable form. One of the well known technologies is the solar photovoltaic cell.  It is a device that converts solar radiations into electric current using the photoelectric effect. A number of solar photovoltaic cells when electrically connected to each other and mounted in a support structure or frame is called a photovoltaic module.

Solar PVSolar PV projects are growing worldwide due to its nature of converting solar energy directly into electricity. It is also a good option where grid electricity is economically univiable. Although the cost associated with solar PV projects are high but project developers are still interested in solar PV technologies by considering the future expansion in the industry. Many governments are providing subsidies e.g. feed in tariff, generation based incentives and other benefits for solar projects. Recently India proposed National Solar Mission under its National Action Plan on Climate Change to promote solar energy in the country.

Solar PV projects are environment friendly and help in reducing GHG emissions that would have otherwise occurred due to the fossil fuel based power generation. If the Solar PV plant starts injecting electricity in the grid, it can help to displace equal amount of electricity that would have otherwise been generated from the GHG intensive grid (Most of the power grid have electricity from coal based power plants).  Hence such projects are also eligible to earn carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

CDM – It is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing industrialized countries (called Annex 1 countries) with a GHG emission reduction targets to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.  Such projects can earn Carbon Credits in the form of GHG emission reductions (One carbon credit is equivalent to one ton of carbon dioxide). (Know more about CDM)

Presently, In India, only one Solar PV project is registered under the CDM and one project is awaiting registration. There are also other solar energy based CDM projects registered in India other than solar PV technologies. Following tables shows registered CDM projects from India under the solar PV and other solar energy category (Note: Data as on Nov 2011);

Registered CDM  projects –   Solar PV  

Ref NoProject titleProject DeveloperRegistration DateAnnual   emission reduction (Carbon Credits)Emission reductions till 2020 (Carbon Credits)


Solar Power Generation Project Reliance Industries Ltd.Requesting registration




5 MW Solar PV Power Project in Sivagangai Village, Sivaganga District, Tamil NaduM/s Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Private Ltd.16-May-11




Registered CDM  projects – Other solar energy

Ref NoProject titleProject DeveloperRegistration DateAnnual   emission reduction (Carbon Credits)Emission reductions till 2020 (Carbon Credits)
4024iHOT – I water heating serviceAnu Solar Thermal Private Ltd.10-Jan-1128,3502,84,757
3757Bundled Solar Water Heater ProjectG K Energy Marketers Pvt Ltd12-Nov-1022,7462,27,460
2699D.light Rural Lighting ProjectD.light Energy Pvt Ltd30-Oct-0930,0523,00,523
2279Rural Education for Development Society (REDS) CDM Photovoltaic Lighting ProjectRural Education for Development Society (REDS)10-Aug-0921,0602,10,600
414Solar steam for cooking and other applicationsGadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt Ltd.22-Aug-065629,056

Reference : UNFCCC

Know more about

booming solar energy market in India

India’s first Solar PV CDM project

You might be interested in in Solar PV system calculator. Calculate your solar system size and other details from here .

41 thoughts on “How solar PV projects can earn carbon credits?

    1. Hi Kirit, Please let us know the exact requirement about carbon credits in regards to Solar projects. As soon as we received your requirements, we will revert back soon. Thanks for visiting

    2. Hello from Cambodia,

      Currently, I am working on installation 25MW of Solar Power Plan in the Industry Zone in Cambodia.

      Can you recommend me on the process of claim carbon credit?
      How much we will earn per year?

      look forward to get feedback from you sooner.


    1. Hi, thanks for commenting here. Roughly, a solar PV plant of capacity 5 MW generates 67,32,000 units per year (Considering 17% PLF and 330 days of operation). Based on the GHG emission factor (If the power plant is grid connected) of southern grid of India, this project can generate 6058 carbon credit (CER) per year. If you seek more information (e.g. Feasibility study for the Solar PV carbon credit project) please do contact us at

  1. How may panels and space per panels require to generate 1 MW/day.

    Based on the data for this we will get 1200 CC per year correct.

    1. As I know, 1 MW of Solar PV plant requires 5 acres of land. The number of panels required to be fit in this area is depends on their size and rated capacity. You can also calculate most likely power generation through solar PV using following thumb rule – 1 watt of installed photovoltaics generates roughly 1 to 2 kWh/year (Geographical location is important here).

  2. What if i can generate 16,00,000 units per year how many carbon credits what is the formula to calculate and approximately what is the price in Rs per each carbon credit

    1. For 16,00,000 units per year you can get around 1488 carbon credits (Based on 0.93 of grid emission factor, Source CEA EF database version 8). The current price of carbon credits under the CDM is very low from past few months (About 1 USD per carbon credit). Note; the grid emission factor has recently updated by CEA.

      1. sir, if we can install 100kva on greed industrial plan so how much carbon credits urned in 100kva plant per annum, and what will be the price of one carbon credit now a days….plz give me as quickly reply as posible

  3. Dear Sir,

    I required information about
    1. solar plant Loan.
    2. How much % loan sanction by bank.
    3. How much subsidy granted by government (central or state)/bank.
    4. which bank finance to solar plant purpose loan.

    Please sir give me idea for solar plant.

    Your faithfully,
    Hitesh P.Chudasama
    I am asst.Officer
    windworl(India)Ltd.(our product – wind mill project in Kachchh. -Gujarat)
    M No.9979714822,8128674957

  4. Dear Sir,

    Please guide me my below query.
    1. please give me information registration in CDM.
    2. where to get registration form for CDM.

    Your Faithfully,
    Hitesh P.Chudasama
    I am Ass.Officer,
    M No.9979714822,8128674957

  5. Dear,

    Our company is implementing LED based street light management system thru PLCC technology control thru cloud based software.

    Example if we replace 1000 Nos 250 watt HPSV street light lamps to 70 watt LED light with remote control operations. then we can energy saving of Rs 20 Lacs per annuam as less power purchasing form DISCOMS. How we can calculate carbon credit benefits and how much amount we can get back thru carbon credits and procedure to get the same on regular basis.

    I want to do some certified courses to provide services to our clients for complete carbon credit solutions experts. Please help us if possible please call my friend

    Devendra Gupta,
    General Manager Power Business
    Informage Power

  6. Dear Sir,

    Could you please send me the carbon credit calculation,
    formula of capacity utilization factor and performance ratio

    Awaiting your favorable replay in this regards.

    Best Regards

    Karthik Madhavan

    1. And performance of the solar plant can be calculated based on the average electricity generation against the installed capacity throughout the year. Generally Plant Load Factor (PLF) for solar PV plant is around 18%. It means, it can be considered as – plant generates 18% of it’s installed capacity.

  7. you have stated in your article “Most of the power grid have electricity from coal based power plants) and that way we can earn carbon credit through solar. What if the power grid have electricity from hydro? It is again a non-GHG emitting source.

    1. Yeah…the grid emission factor gets low if it has more renewable energy generating units connected. That’s the reason behind changing EF every year.

  8. Hello Mr. Shailesh,
    Being an Engineer i am always been a passionate about the Energy Generation. Though today, India is developing at good pace,its energy requirement is not being full filled . As we know, renewable energy source is only the solution to full fill our dream of Energy Independent Nation by 2025. Among all the renewable energy sources , Solar energy is prominent source of energy.
    We are group of Engineers and want to set up the industry which would generate energy from renewable source only( Green Energy).Compared to other sources like Wind, Bio-mass, Solar energy is viable source of energy. So we would like to ignite our Engine Of Dream with setting up solar energy plant. When i read above comment section, i find Mr. Shailesh as one of expertise in this field . Mr. Shailesh please suggest us with the following details.
    1) Land requirement For 5 MW plant.
    2) under electricity act of 2004 can we supply electricity to Electricity state board if generate electricity below 1MW, if not then what is the minimum requirement?
    or can we supply electricity privately to any village which is not connected to state broad..?
    4) COST OF Project.
    5) Recovery Period.( Carbon credit details inclusive)
    6) Subsidy from central and state government( Maharashtra).
    7)Future Expansion.(from expertise point of view)
    We will be very glad if you provide us above fore said details.
    Please reply ASAP.

    Best regards,
    Aman Awale

  9. We have 10000 sqft roof top in 22.34N 88.378E on 55 ft building. we are in need captive 125kva power connection. please let me know whether solar power generation will be viable for us?

    1. Thanks for your comment. With the available space (10,000 sqf) , you can install about 90 kWp solar project. Solar PV system can be synchronized with grid supply as well as DG supply. It can also provide 3 phase electricity. Therefore, it is viable for you. As per CERC data, in and around Kolkata, you can get 16% CUF with crystalline PV panels. With this efficiency, 90 kWp solar plant can generate around 1.26 L units per year.

  10. How can I apply for the carbon credit. Is there any act for that.
    If i have 100kw solar power plant which is used to power up our plant(10% of plant load) whether it is sufficient to get cc.
    also we have steam boiler in which we are using Briquettes instead of fossil fuels. whether we are eligible to get cc.

  11. Hello Mr. Shailesh,

    We have installed 5 MWp Solar Power Plant in Gujarat.

    please calculate CER and VER for it.

    send calculation method also.

    Kunal Ribinwala
    R K Enterprise

  12. Dear Sir
    My company get a Tender from MUNICIPAL CORPORATION is LED based street light
    we replace about 35000 Nos 250/150/ 75 watt HPSV street light lamps to 90/60/30 watt LED light with remote control operations. then we can energy saving about 1,50,00,000 Unit per annuam. How we can calculate carbon credit benefits and how much amount we can get back thru carbon credits and procedure to get the same on regular basis.

    I want to do some certified courses to provide services to our clients for complete carbon credit solutions experts. Please help me.
    Thanks & Regards
    Sushil Bhardwaj

  13. Since, this post was written years back, there are many things those have changed regarding carbon credit market. Carbon market (especially ‘CDM’) is not working with the same glory which was there before 2012. In the absence of legally binding carbon emission reduction targets on developed countries (Annex 1 countries), there are no buyers for carbon credits.

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