Home > Indian solar/PV industry, National Solar Mission, solar, solar photovoltaics > Indian government unveils National Solar Mission Plan document!

Indian government unveils National Solar Mission Plan document!

November 23, 2009

Right then, here’s what most of the readers interested in the Indian solar photovoltaics industry were waiting to know!

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), government of India has announced the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Interested folks can download the report from MNRE’s website — http://www.mnes.nic.in/

Let’s take a look at the Mission targets. These are:

• To create an enabling policy framework for the deployment of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022.

• To ramp up capacity of grid-connected solar power generation to 1000 MW within three years – by 2013; an additional 3000 MW by 2017 through the mandatory use of the renewable purchase obligation by utilities backed with a preferential tariff. This capacity can be more than doubled – reaching 10,000MW installed power by 2017 or more, based on the enhanced and enabled international finance and technology transfer. The ambitious target for 2022 of 20,000 MW or more, will be dependent on the ‘learning’ of the first two phases, which if successful, could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power. The transition could be appropriately up scaled, based on availability of international finance and technology.

• To create favourable conditions for solar manufacturing capability, particularly solar thermal for indigenous production and market leadership.

• To promote programs for off grid applications, reaching 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022 .

• To achieve 15 million sq. meters solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million sq. meters solar thermal collector area by 2022.

• To deploy 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022.

There you are! All the targets are right in front of you! You can choose to get into solar lighting systems or other off-grid applications, or maybe, grid-connected applications. The current grid connected capacity is less than 2 MW, which means, there’s only one way to go all the way — up! Those missing out, here’s the time to enter the Indian solar/PV market. And, be ready to be a long term player.

The targets at first glance seem to be quite steep, although I feel the 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas is low, and could be much higher. The PPAs (power purchase agreement), I believe, are valid for 25 years — a recommendation made by AES Solar during Solarcon India 2009.

I am trying to speak with some industry folks as well, and get their views and whether they are happy with this.

While I examine the National Solar Mission document, here’s a link pointing to Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s submission to the Parliament.

More later and best wishes to the Indian solar/PV industry! 😉

  1. Tim
    November 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks a lot for this, Pradeep.

  2. Pradeep Chakraborty
    November 23, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Here’s a comment left by Mahadev Murthy on LinkedIn – FastTrack 100 Group. If you are a member of the group, you can see the comment there.

    “This is an interesting development. India needs alternate energy resources, which are critical for India’s growth.” — Mahadev

  3. S J Vijay, MD, salmon Leap
    November 24, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Pradeep, The gist is crisp. The implementation plan and its outlines contained in the document released yesterday are the new ones. The tariff calculations as per CERC 16th Sep, 2009, document, NVVN as the focal organization for the first phase, Provision of unallocated power to them to reduce the average cost, outlines of the funding/refinance arrangements, capital subsidy for certain applications etc etc is what you discover when you dive into it.

    More importantly, you might get a feeling that what it has revealed is less exciting than what it has not yet!

    Our pragmatism has yielded well whether in Economic Reforms of in insulating us from the Asian crisis then. We are among the first few to spring back from the Global Financial Crisis as well. Pragmatism and fundamental strengths of India?

    In Energy Independence ( not just Energy Security) too our pragmatism will let us win. In a steady manner. Yesterday was just the beginning.

    May be we will enable Social Security from Solar Power, some time soon.

  4. Xiaohong Chen
    November 24, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Just came back from a two week trip through India. Indeed, the solar storm is brewing in India. I hope this initative have enough power to propel India Solar business to the next level.

  5. SolarUKWeblog
    December 1, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Here in Europe companies such as SolarUK (best known for its LaZer2 solar thermal system) have received what could be a boost in the form of new research from the independent EU Energy Institute, which says that solar panels will fall in price quicker than previously expected, adding that they are such a good long-term investment that banks should offer homeowners mortgages on them.

    Here in the UK we don’t have incentive programmes (which means greater manufacturing volumes and therefore, lower costs) as they do in Germany or Spain, but solar could still be set for ‘grid parity’ sooner than many think (that is, it’ll be as cheap for someone to generate power at home as it is to buy from the grid).

  6. Pradeep Chakraborty
    December 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    SolarUK: Perhaps, you should try to enter India — lot of scope here, post the NSM. Best wishes.

  7. Pradeep Chakraborty
    December 1, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    This is a comment left by SD, which I deleted by mistake… pasting it here! Would love to hear from others on SD’s queries… 🙂

    Mr. Pradeep and others:

    I am a newbie to the Solar sector. I am planning to start a solar farm in India with an intended max capacity upto 10MWp but starting with a 1 MWp to begin with.

    After reviewing the NSM, I have a few questions from a small player’s perspective and would really apreciate if anyone can share their opinion.

    1. I understand the central goverment is going to create a middle-layer organisation to deal with permissions, PPAs etc. Does anyone have any idea how soon this department is going to start functioning? What is the price per kWh produced? Will all the power generated by a producer be bought by the utilities? What if there is excess capacity?

    2. Big players vs. small players: Will the government show favoritism in purchasing the power from big producers first and then from the small guys? I understand that they proposed a 50MW cap per company, but this can be easily worked around.

    3. Does anyone have any insight into “back-out” clause? For example, what if the government decides not to buy power from any particular producer, all of a sudden? Are there any penalties and damages to be paid by the government?

    4. Finally, what are your general suggestions? If you had the money, would you be investing in a solar farm within the next year or are there any other better areas within solar with better returns and lesser risk? From my preliminary research, the IRR for a Solar farm in India works out to about 12%. The biggest risk factors I can see is: a) the big players b) government running out of money (as has happened in Spain) c) dropping prices of solar PV systems. This increases the project viability for later entrants.

    I’d really appreciate it if you guys can guide me in this.


  8. Amitav Mallik
    December 3, 2009 at 1:22 am

    The NSM is indeed very ambitious, the key to success will be the effeiciency of implementation and simplification of procedures for ready participation of the private industry.

    Regarding the off-grid target of 1000 MW by 2017, where are the buyers unless the feed-in-tarrif is also applicable for roof-top users who are actually contributing to the grid capacity by not using the grid power to the extent of solar PV electricity generated per month. Can anyone throw some light on this matter? – AM.

    • SD
      December 3, 2009 at 7:46 am

      There seems to be a growing market for off-grid systems…esp in the rural villages where there is acute load shedding. I attended the recent SolarCon 2009 held in Hyderabad where a company gave a presentation on this segment. This company seems to be doing pretty good and are establishing a significant foot print in the south. They are selling their systems directly to the end users without any government subsidies. 1 to 2 lakh rupees is affordable to the “creamy layer” in the prosperous villages.

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