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Clean Power solar panels in India

Published on June 13th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor

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India To Expand National Solar Mission

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June 13th, 2014 by  

solar panels in India

Armed with a new sense of urgency to fix the problems of power supply, rising power costs, and increasing dependence on imported coal, the Narendra Modi-led Indian government is planning to enhance the country’s ambitious National Solar Mission. Currently, the mission entails installation of 20,000 MW of grid-connected and 2,000 MW of distributed solar power capacity by 2022.

Given the resource availability and the demand for solar power, tremendous capacity addition potential remains in India. The government has announced plans that it intends to source 3% of the country’s total electricity demand from solar power projects by 2022. To meet this target, a total installed capacity of 34,150 MW is required, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has determined. Thus, the current form of the National Solar Mission would fall short by at least 12,000 MW.

While the MNRE regularly comes up with innovative mechanisms to distribute and allocate solar power capacity among project developers, there are several areas that have not been addressed in the policy. Canal-top solar power projects, something pioneered in Prime Minister Modi’s home state of Gujarat, is among them. This would address yet another and more important problem faced by the country — water scarcity and over-dependence of the agriculture on monsoon.

Net metering and feed-in tariffs for rooftop solar power projects is another missing area. While the state government is likely to have the final say on this issue, the central government can certainly announce incentives to promote the implementation of this policy across the country. This policy has also been successfully implemented in Gujarat and had received financial support from international financial institutions such as the IMF.

Another initiative that could find place in the revised national solar mission is solar parks. Gujarat remains the leading state in India in terms of installed solar power capacity due to its 600 MW solar park, which is the largest in the world. While the MNRE had announced plans to implement several of such ultra-mega solar power projects before the new government took office, it would not be surprising if the Modi government enhances this program.

It is very likely that the “Gujarat model” will be followed for enhancing renewable energy in India as early signs point to the same. The MNRE has scheduled an investors meet in November this year where it hopes to attract investment worth millions of dollars to boost the renewable energy sector, an approach mastered by Mr Modi during his tenure as the Gujarat chief minister.

Photo Credit: Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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  • No way

    It’s impressive but at the same time so so little. India is the definition of an “all of the above” country and I really hope all of wind, nuclear, hydro, biomass etc. get at least an increase of 3 percentages each of the power generation.

    • Ronald Brakels

      Fossil fuels can’t compete with renewables in Australia, and they can’t compete in India either. They will end up with more than 3% of their energy from solar by 2020. Australia may be at 3% in a year. (Optimistic but possible.) And India needs new generating capacity rather than just replacing old capacity.

  • JamesWimberley

    No author given, no link supplied for the main story. Given the extreme importance of India – the second most populous country in the world – readers deserve better.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      I’m not sure about the source, but the author is a respectable Indian who wanted to remain anonymous — sorry.

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