Guidelines unveiled for schemes under solar mission

Union minister Farooq Abdullah today unveiled the guidelines for two schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2010, 00:39 AM IST

New Delhi: To tap the diverse and enormous
potential of solar energy for use in all applications, Union
minister Farooq Abdullah today unveiled the guidelines for two
schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

These guidelines issued are for off-grid photo-voltaic
and decentralised solar applications and rooftop and other
small solar power plants.

Pointing out that the guidelines were "flexible, simple
and market friendly", Abdullah, Minister for New and Renewable
Energy, said they were meant to "tap the diverse and enormous
potential of solar energy in all applications --rural, urban
and industrial."

Under the three-phased National Solar mission, government
aims to achieve the capacity of producing 20,000 MW of
electricity through solar energy sources by year 2020.

Observing that his ministry had created an enabling
ecosystem for developing the solar energy sector, Abdullah
said it was for the entrepreneurs and stakeholders to rise to
the challenge.

He said the guidelines aimed to address four critical
areas including access to rural households for lighting and
daily power requirements; reduction in consumption of kerosene
and diesel; energy demand management through solar thermal
systems and improvement of efficient transmission by feeding
power at consumption points.

He said the ministry had unveiled a migration policy
under the NSM to give a head start to setting up
grid-connected solar power plants and the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar
Nigam (NVVN) had invited applications from project developers
who were at an advanced stage of preparedness.

"After the scrutiny of the applications, NVVN is now
ready to announce the eligible developers and shall be
formally issuing awards to them shortly," Abdullah said.

Talking about the challenges faced by the mission, he
said, "the present cost of solar energy systems is relatively
high. Although capital subsidies and soft loans will make them
affordable in the short run, only long term solution can be a
declining cost curve."

"We need accelerated research, advanced manufacturing and
economies of scale. These alone can build the virtuous spiral
that will help us attain grid parity before the end of the
mission," he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Planning Commission Deputy
Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia urged Public Sector units to
invest more on research and development so that new
technologies can emerge to make electricity affordable and
easily accessible.

-PTI