Minister of New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah today inaugurated “Teach a 1000 Teachers” training programme on solar photovoltaics being conducted at IIT-Bombay through video conferencing in New Delhi. The programme is being carried out simultaneously at 35 “remote centres” scattered across the country. A 10-day workshop titled “Solar Photovoltaics: Fundamentals, Technologies and Applications” is being organised under the programme from 12th to 22nd December 2011, during whichthe faculty of IIT will take lectures through indigenously developed tutorial and laboratory sessions.The programme organised by the National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education at IIT-Bombay jointly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Ministry of Human Resource Development aims at developing manpower for successful implementation of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
Speaking on the Occasion, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that this commendable step will help in meeting the energy needs of rural areas through use of renewable energy sources. He called upon the teachers undergoing training to work hard to make the programme a success. Elaborating upon the achievements under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission,Dr. Abdullah said that project selection of 800 MW through tariff discounting bidding has substantially helped in reducing the tariff. He added that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has also initiated the process for selection of another 350 MW in Batch-II during 2011-12. The results of bidding of this batch have just come and further reduction in average tariff of solar power to Rs. 8.77 per unit has been offered.
Dr. Abdullah informed that by now over 180 MW capacity grid power projects have been commissioned under various schemes and by March, 2012 about 400 MW capacity projects will be commissioned in the country. He added that in the area of off-grid solar by now more than 67 MW capacity projects have been sanctioned which is expected to go up to 100 MW by March, 2013. He said about 5 million sq. m. solar thermal collector area has also been installed by now. The Minister said that in order to obtain quality radiation data for solar thermal projects, 51 new radiation data monitoring centres have been set up besides the centres already operated by IMD.
The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched by the Prime Minister of India on January 11, 2010, which provides a policy framework for scaling up deployment of solar energy technologies in the country with a focus on research and development and indigenous manufacturing for reduction of cost to achieve grid parity by 2022. The Mission targets 20,000 MW of gird solar power by 2022, with 1,100 MW by March, 2013, on cumulative basis at least 4,000 MW by March, 2017 and full 20,000 MW by 2022. Similarly, 2000 MW of the off-gird solar applications are to be deployed through similar build up of 200 MW, 1000 MW and 2000 MW respectively for the three phases of the Mission. 20 million sq.m.solar thermal collector area is also aimed by 2022.
As a part of R&D programme, a project of setting up Centre of Excellence called “National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education” was sanctioned by the Ministry in September 2010. The broad objectives of the project include education and training, and research and evolving testing and characterization protocols for solar photovoltaic cells and devices.
In addition to this project, the Ministry is supporting another four projects to set up centres of excellence in thematic areas of research and education in the area of solar thermal power and solar photovoltaics. IIT Rajasthan at Jodhpur is one such project which is focussing solar thermal research and education. The Ministry has sanctioned several big ticket research and development projects with focussed aim to develop technologies indigenously, especially in the area of solar thermal power.
The main thrust of the Workshop “Teach a 1000 Teachers” is on imparting high-level technical inputs on the theory and experiments in the area of photovoltaics. The coordinators of 35 nodal centres have already been trained in previously held Workshops at IIT Bombay. More than 1500 registrations from over 200 colleges across the country to come to these 35 remote centres have been received. It is expected that each of the trained teacher will further teach about 35-40 students, and thus help building up a strong base of trained students.