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 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 No Project title Project Developer Registration Date Annual   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 Nadu M/s Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Private Ltd. 16-May-11



Registered CDM  projects – Other solar energy

Ref No Project title Project Developer Registration Date Annual   emission reduction (Carbon Credits) Emission reductions till 2020 (Carbon Credits)
4024 iHOT – I water heating service Anu Solar Thermal Private Ltd. 10-Jan-11 28,350 2,84,757
3757 Bundled Solar Water Heater Project G K Energy Marketers Pvt Ltd 12-Nov-10 22,746 2,27,460
2699 D.light Rural Lighting Project D.light Energy Pvt Ltd 30-Oct-09 30,052 3,00,523
2279 Rural Education for Development Society (REDS) CDM Photovoltaic Lighting Project Rural Education for Development Society (REDS) 10-Aug-09 21,060 2,10,600
414 Solar steam for cooking and other applications Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt Ltd. 22-Aug-06 562 9,056

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 .


Shailesh is post graduate in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun, India. Presently he is working in the areas of Environmental and Renewable Energy Advisory Services. He has started during his college days.

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    • 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

    • 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.


  • we are planning a solar pv power plant at AndhraPradesh India a 5mw. How to calculate carbon credits and what may be the prevailing rate of CRE? pl send me email to ""

    • 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

  • 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.

    • 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).

  • 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

    • 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.

      • 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

        • Please let me know the name of your state so that I can provide you the correct grid GHG emission factor.

  • 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

  • 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

  • sir
    Pls Tell me formula for how many CC will be generated from 1mw of solar photovoltiac plant

    • Read comment section for more information. This is already answered! (Carbon Credit = Electricity generation from solar plant X Grid emission factor)

  • 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

    • Thanks for your comment. For privacy reasons, I've removed your phone number from the comment.
      I've replied to your comment via email.

  • 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

    • 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.

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