Friday, November 20, 2009

Union Cabinet approves National Solar Mission; 20 GW by 2022 (not 2020)!

First, the big news! The Union Cabinet of Ministers, Government of India, has cleared the National Solar Mission! Earlier slated for an announcement on Nov. 14th, the Cabinet approved of the Mission on Thursday!

One major change — depends on how you see it — the Mission aims to generate 20,000 MW by 2022, and not 2020!

Now, this news is all over the Web, with the Plan being approved at an estimated cost of Rs 4,337 crores ($900 million).

As per published reports, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni has said that the mission proposes to scale-up off-grid solar applications by installing another 2,000 MW capacity by 2022 including 20 million sqm solar power collective area and 20 million solar lines, she said adding that the mission will have a three-phased approach for solar energy applications in the country.

The Mission initially aims at generating 200 MW by 2012, she added.

One main thrust of the Plan seems to be on an aggressive R&D department, which will aim at reducing costs.

Apparently, Rs. 355 crores (or is it Rs 385 crores? ) will be spent on the R&D activity.

The minister has also said that the R&D department will carry out field-testing of emerging applications in solar energy and the first phase of the mission will be started carefully with proven applications. For facilitating the early launch of the mission, the public sector Vidyut Vitraran Nigam, a subsidiary of NTPC, will be designated as a nodal agency for entering into power purchase agreement with the solar power developers, she added.

This is absolutely great news, folks! India is well positioned to repeat its telecom success story all over again with solar PV! It is all set to rock the solar PV world!
This news, in some manner, is a huge victory for India’s semicon policy as well, and should go some way in kick-starting some manufacturing activities in this area within the country.

PS: I was about to add some posts from CDNLive, when I came across this news. Am holding CDNLive posts and the one on embedded back for a little while. Also, I hope I can get to see an approved copy of the Mission. Can’t wait to study it!

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