The Indian Government plans to impose fines on solar firms that delay the commercial operations of their solar plants in an effort to accelerate growth in its solar energy sector.

Gujarat Energy Development Agency senior executive of solar and wind SB Patil told Bloomberg that there will be penalties for such delays.

The state of Gujarat is said to be leading the country’s emerging solar sector, awarding licenses for 959MW to developers.

Of the 959MW of projects, the first 48.5MW were required to start operating by 31 December 2010.

The state’s approach to dealing with delayed projects is expected to be a precedent for India’s Solar Mission, a programme that intends to aid in the development of 20,000MW of capacity by 2022.

India has the potential for about 5,000 trillion kWh per year of solar energy equivalent, according to its Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.