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Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission on schedule: Government of India

As readers of Panchabuta are well aware, one of the eight National Missions outlined in National Action Plan on Climate Change, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) specifically focuses on solar energy and its role in minimizing future emissions. The Government has launched JNNSM in January, 2010 with a target of 20,000 MW grid solar power (based on solar thermal power generating systems and solar photovoltaic (SPV) technologies), 2000 MW of off-grid capacity including 20 million solar lighting systems and 20 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area by 2022. The Mission will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will be of three years (upto March, 2013), the second till March 2017 and the third phase will continue till March, 2022.

 Government has also approved the implementation of the first phase of the Mission (upto March, 2013) and the target to set up 1,100 MW grid connected solar plants including 100 MW of roof-top and small solar plants and 200 MW capacity equivalent off-grid solar applications and 7 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area in the first phase of the Mission, till 2012-13.

As we have earlier mentioned, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) has selected 620 MW capacity grid solar power projects (connected to 33 KV and above) through a tariff discounting process in December, 2010. The successful applicants have proposed to set up projects of 505 MW capacity in Rajasthan, 65 MW in Andhra Pradesh, 20 MW in Gujarat, 10 MW in Karnataka and 5 MW each in Orissa, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh(and Tamil Nadu). The objective of this process was to achieve lowering of tariff for solar power. This process has helped in reduction of tariff by about 30% over the tariff fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. The projects are to be set up on build, own and operate basis.

In order to spread solar power projects in a number of States, Ministry had announced another scheme to support small grid connected solar power projects of a capacity up to 2 MW (connected to grid below 33 KV). Under this scheme the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has selected 78 projects to set up 98 MW capacity solar power plants in 12 States. In this scheme, the solar power will be purchased by the concerned state utilities at a rate fixed by the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commissions. The Ministry will provide a generation based incentive to the concerned State utilities to reduce their burden.

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is implementing a scheme to promote off-grid applications of solar energy such as solar lanterns, home lights, other small capacity photovoltaic systems and solar water heating systems with a 30% capital subsidy and/or loan at 5% through NABARD. An amount of Rs. 35 crore has been released in 2010-11 to NABARD to provide funds to the regional rural banks to support solar lighting systems.

According to reports, the union cabinet Tuesday expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), India’s ambitious mission to ramp up its solar power hundredfold by 2022 and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

The progress of the mission’s implementation is as per schedule in the last one year, said a statement issued after the cabinet meeting.

 The ministry of new and renewable energy has successfully sanctioned 802 MW capacity of grid-connected solar projects and 36 MW of off-grid solar projects.

Six major research projects, including setting up of National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education at IIT-Bombay, have been approved.

 The cabinet had approved in November 2009 a target to set up 1,100 MW grid-connected solar plants, including 100 MW capacity plants as rooftop and other small solar power plants for the first phase of the mission till March 2013.

 ‘Successful completion of these projects would accelerate the process of achieving grid tariff parity for solar power and also help reduce consumption of kerosene and diesel, which is presently in use to meet the unmet demand,’ the statement said.

As readers of Panchabuta are aware, the most important time line that is coming up is that of the financial closure in the middle of this year and that will decide the successful execution and completion of these projects above mentioned.

Panchabuta is tracking the developments and is cautiously optimistic and  will keep a close watch on which of these projects do achieve financial closure in the middle of this year which will be a very important milestone.

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