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.
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.
India’s ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has exempted the solar PV farms coming up in the country from having to seek environment clearance.
The exemption from seeking environmental nod and creating environment impact reports etc.. is likely to keep the Solar Mission on schedule. Green nods can taken anywhere from 2 months to a year. The clarification by the environment ministry, headed by Jairam Ramesh, was done after a query was raised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
This is indeed a big step as most times thermal power projects can take any where from a year to about 18 months to obtain this clearance. Developers that Panchabuta spoke to have welcomed this announcement. As readers must be aware, a number of wind farm projects, small hydro projects and waste to energy proposals have all been under the scrutiny for various environment violations including cutting of trees, violation of rules in forest areas in some cases and public protest in others.