Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission launched
The Governmet of India has approved a new policy on development of solar energy in the country by launching of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The information was shared by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy in the Parliament.
"This is a historic and transformational initiative of the UPA Government and I am proud to have the privilege of being assigned the task of overseeing its implementation. The Solar Mission is very much in line with the vision of modern India of Pandit Nehru, which has made India today, a leading nuclear and space power," he said.
The Minister further stated that this Mission is one of the eight key National Missions which comprise India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change. It has a twin objective – to contribute to India’s long term energy security as well as its ecological security.
"The Solar Mission recommends the implementation in three stages leading up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022. It is envisaged that as a result of rapid scale up as well as technological developments, the price of solar power will attain parity with grid power at the end of the Mission, enabling accelerated and large-scale expansion thereafter. During this time we expect many new ideas to emerge and technologies to become more efficient," he informed.
In view of this, the Cabinet has approved setting up of 1,100 MW of grid solar power and 200 MW capacity of off-grid solar applications utilizing both solar thermal and photovoltaic technologies in the first phase of the Mission. In addition, Mission will also focus on R&D and HRD to develop and strengthen Indian skills and enhance indigenous content to make the Mission sustainable.
Mission will establish a single window investor-friendly mechanism, which reduces risk and at the same time, provides an attractive, predictable and sufficiently extended tariff for the purchase of solar power for the grid.
The focal point, for the next 3 years, will be the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), which is the power trading arm of the NTPC. Government will designate it for the purchase of solar power generated by independent solar power producers, at rates fixed by the Central Regulatory Electricity Commission and for a period specified by the latter. Government will provide equivalent MW of power from the unallocated quota of NTPC for bundling with solar power.
The utilities will be able to account for purchase of solar power against their RPO obligations. The Ministry of Power is supporting the Mission since its inception. According to Dr Abdullah, the Mission also includes a major initiative for promoting rooftop solar PV applications. Solar tariff announced by the regulators will be applicable for such installations. The power distribution companies will be involved in purchase of this power. Mission will also accelerate the process of development of domestic industry in this sector.