According to reports, The government plans to accord high priority to developing large “solar parks”, or clusters of units that can generate a total of up to 5,000 megawatts, to help cut costs, Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said on Wednesday.
Solar parks would be built in the second phase of the National Solar Mission. The mission aims to generate 20,000 mw of power from sunlight in the next decade. Speaking at The Energy and Resources Institute, Abdullah said that solar parks would comprise 25% of the total target capacity under the second phase of the mission. India plans to add 4,000 mw of gridconnected solar power in the second phase between 2013 and 2017.
A ‘solar park’ is a concentrated zone of solar energy development, targeting 3,000-5,000 mw of generation over time, facilitating reduction in costs of the nascent technology.
The ministry plans to launch a scheme providing central financial assistance to the states for site and soil survey, preparing detailed engineering reports as well as infrastructure development including evacuation facilities.
The minister emphasised on the need to bring down the cost of solar power to be competitive with coal-fired power plants. “For this to happen , solar plants have to be built at an adequately large scale and in clusters, deployed in sufficient volume to spawn a local equipment and manufacturing industry, and receive initial financing at lower than current commercial rates, “said Abdullah, on the sidelines of an event organized by TERI.
He added the need to provide intelligently designed subsidies and a policy framework facilitating large initial deployment of technology and cost reduction.