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200,000 MegaWatt Solar Plans for India

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India’s ‘National Solar Mission’, plans to have India generating 200,000 MW of solar power by 2050, and 100,000 by 2030 according to an official document.

The plan calls for 20,000 MW by 2020. For the next 11 years there is a three-phase approach: 1-1.5 by 2012, 6-7 GW by 2017 and 20 GW by 2020. Another goal for the 2030 milestone (besides the 100 GW target) is parity with energy production from coal.

Initially the plan indicates a rapid deployment may be achieveable through the addition of solar technology on approxmately 3 million square meters of rooftop space from 2,000 – 3,000 government buildings, for the 2009-2012 phase.

Other mandates also target non-governmental rooftops, vacant land, and buildings such as hospitals, and hotels for solar water heaters. Another option mentioned is adding 20 million solar lights for residences, which could save one billion liters of kerosense per year by 2020. Of course, solar technologies other than rooftop PV are mentioned, such as concentrating solar power, sterling dishes, and others.

In the scalability section of the official report, it is stated that India receives 5,000 trillion kWh of energy from the sun, per day.

 Once implemented the plan could eliminate 42 million tons of CO2 emissions. The solar mission is part of the country’s overall climate change plan. If it comes to fruition, 100,000 trained specialists may be required to install, manage and maintain the solar infrastructure. The report also mentions collaborating with universities that would offer degrees in solar engineering and technology at all the typical levels: bachelor’s, master’s and PhD’s.

Also of interest is the statement that in the present time  20-25 GW of electricity is generated from diesel, to meet peaking power shortage. The current cost of diesel is listed as 13-15 Rs kWh, and that solar would be ‘quite competitive’ in costs, during day time peak usage.

 (This article is merely a summary of some of the points made in the report.)

Image Credit: Moonu

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