According to reports, the use of solar energy in the country’s rural electrification programme is set to get a major boost.
Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) has asked the Ashden Indian Collective – a body comprising Indian Ashden awardees – to formulate a draft policy framing a law on this programme. The matter will be discussed at a meeting in the city on Monday.
State power department adviser S P Gon Chaudhuri, who heads the Ashden Indian Collective group, said, “There is no proper law now on renewable energy. Neither is there clarity on how much subsidy the government will grant or regulations on any particular solar energy programme. The DFID has asked us to formulate a draft policy and will fund any studies necessary in its preparation.”
Gon Chaudhuri said about 55 crore people in the country still do not have access to electricity. “There is need for a proper framework to execute the rural electrification programme,” he said. Once the draft policy is prepared, it would be submitted to the ministry of new and renewable energy for consideration.
The target of the National Solar Mission is to generate 20,000 megawatt of solar power by 2022. A major part of this generation will be through the rural electrification programme. Achieving the 20,000 MW solar power target by 2022 could become difficult unless all states take part in this programme. The government of India cannot alone achieve such a huge task.
According to current trends and estimates, the country will require 9 lakh MW power by the year 2031. Out of this huge amount, at least 1 lakh MW of power should be generated from solar by that year to bridge the supply and demand gap. Formulating a draft policy on rural electrification could help meet some of these issues, Gon Chaudhuri said.