According to reports, the government on Monday said that the cost of power from solar lanterns was likely to come down by 2013 from Rs 11 per unit to the rate at which conventional electricity was generated.
Minister for new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah said that the price of power generated from solar lanterns when the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission started in 2010 was Rs 18 per unit.
“In the same year, the price came down to Rs 11 per unit after tenders for buying solar lanterns were invited,” he said in Rajya Sabha during Question Hour, adding 20,000 MW of electricity generation is being targeted from solar power by 2022.
In the first phase of the solar mission, where 1300 MW is being targeted, companies selling solar lantern are allowed to import the equipment if they are not available locally.
In the second phase, companies will be required to set up local manufacturing facility to produce solar lanterns that will help bring down the cost. “By 2013, the rates of solar lantern (generated power) will be same as the rate at which you are getting this (conventional) electricity,” he said.
The government, he said, provides central financial assistance of 30% of the cost of installation under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission for solar lanterns and solar home lighting system in general category states and up to 90% in special category states.