[In continuation with our coverage on Solar Energy in India, we look at the much awaited National Solar Mission from the government.]

The Union government is supposed to launch the National Solar Mission on November 14, 2009 and here are the guidelines from the final draft

  • Make India a global leader in solar energy and the mission envisages an installed solar generation capacity of 20,000 MW by 2020, 1,00,000 MW by 2030 and of 2,00,000 MW by 2050.
  • The total expected funding from the government for the 30-year period will run to Rs. 85,000 crore to Rs. 105,000 crore.
  • Between 2017 and 2020, the target is to achieve tariff parity with conventional grid power and achieve an installed capacity of 20 gigawatts (Gw) by 2020.
  • 4-5GW of installed solar manufacturing capacity by 2017.

Implementation Phases of India’s National Solar Mission

Implementation will be in three phases – first phase (2009-12) will aim to achieve rapid scaling-up to drive down costs.

It will spur domestic manufacturing through the consolidation and expansion of on-going projects for urban, rural and off-grid applications. This will involve the promotion of commercial-scale solar utility plants, mandated installation of solar rooftop or on-site photo-voltaic applications in buildings and establishments of government and public sector undertakings. The target is 100 MW installed capacity here.

Second phase (2012-17) will focus on the commercial deployment of solar thermal power plants. This will involve storage options, and the promotion of solar lighting and heating systems on a large scale in market mode. This will be without subsidies but could include micro-financing options.

Third phase (i.e. 2017- 2020)’s goal is to achieve tariff parity with conventional grid power and achieve an installed capacity of 20 gigawatts (Gw) by 2020.

The mission objective is to drive down the cost of solar energy to as low as Rs. 4-5/Kwh by 2017-20, making solar energy competitive with respect to other fossil fuel based power sources.

Policy & Regulatory Framework of India’s National Solar Mission

The key design principle underlying the regulatory/incentive mechanisms are:

  • Feed-in traffic that will be set for various applications by the respective state regulators.
  • 10 year tax holiday.
  • Custom duty and excise duty exemption on capital equipment and critical materials.
  • Use of market based price discovery mechanism

What’s your opinion on India’s national solar mission?

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