National Solar Mission

  1. India is world’s 6th largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4% of global energy consumption.
  2. Due to India’s economic rise, the demand for energy has grown at an average of 3.6% per annum over the past 30 years.
  3. In March 2009, the installed power generation capacity of India stood at 147,000 MW while the per capita power consumption stood at 612 kWH.
  4. The country’s annual power production increased from about 190 billion kWH in 1986 to more than 680 billion kWH in 2006.
  5. The Government of India has set an ambitious target to add approximately 78,000 MW of installed generation capacity by 2012.
  6. The total demand for electricity in India is expected to cross 950,000 MW by 2030.
  7. About 75% of the electricity consumed in India is generated by thermal power plants, 21% by hydroelectric power plants and 4% by nuclear power plants.
  8. More than 50% of India’s commercial energy demand is met through the country’s vast coal reserves.
  9. India has invested heavily in recent years on renewable sources of energy such as wind energy.
  10. As of 2008, India’s installed wind power generation capacity stood at 9,655 MW.
  11. India has committed massive amount of funds for the construction of various nuclear reactors which would generate at least 30,000 MW.
  12. In July 2009, India unveiled a $19 billion plan to produce 20,000 MW of solar power by 2020.

India & Solar Energy

  1. India is most fortunate as it receives the highest global solar radiation on a horizontal surface.
  2. India receives on a daily average over the year of 520-630 W/m2; 1660-1990 Btu/ft2 and 6.8-8.3 GJ/m2 annually.
  3. The solar energy falling each year on each acre of land in India equals to energy obtained by burning efficiently more than 1,000 tons of coal.
  4. India, one of the world’s fastest-developing countries, currently has no electric grid to connect 400 million people who have no access to electricity.
  5. With about 301 clear, sunny days a year, solar power stands to become the predominant energy source for the nation, which is currently exploring ways to deal with its energy shortage.
  6. India has tremendous potentialities to harness the much-needed energy from renewable sources and considered as one of the ideal investment destinations for renewable energy equipment manufacturers and service providers.
  7. India could become top player in world’s solar market.
  8. Considering the huge business opportunities in India, an International trade mission under the aegis of SolarPlaza, a world leader in connecting solar industry members, led an international trade mission to India in February 2008.
  9. Indian government is currently envisaging large-scale expansion of solar power capacity by 2020.
  10. The government is gearing up to provide 20 million un-reached rural households to access light energy.
  11. In addition, the government plans 20 million sqm. to be built up for green buildings and 20 million sqm. for heating applications by 2020.

National Solar Mission : Background

  1. Solar power generation has lagged behind other sources like wind, small hydropower, biomass etc. But now realizing the potential of Solar energy, Prime Minister of India unveiled a National Climate Change Action Plan in June 2008.
  2. The plan will be implemented through eight missions with main focus on Solar energy in the total energy mix of the country.

The Mission Plan

  1. It is a 30-year plan with an outlay of Rs.91,684 crore.
  2. The outlay will be with Rs.10,130 crore in the current Five Year Plan (ending 2012), Rs.22,515 crore in the 2012-2017 second phase, and Rs.11,921 crore in the 2017-2020 third phase.
  3. This plan aims to make India the global leader in solar energy
  4. The plan has come up for the nod by the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change on August 3, 2009.
  5. National Solar Mission will add 20,000 MW of generation capacity by 2020 and make it as cheap as electricity from conventional sources.
  6. The amount will be by taxing fossil fuels, mainly coal.

Mission Objectives

  1. 20,000 MW of installed solar generation capacity by 2020 and 100,000 MW by 2030; 200,000 MW by 2050
  2. Reducing the cost of Solar power to achieve grid tariff parity by 2020
  3. Achieve parity with coal-based thermal power generation by 2030
  4. Achieve 4-5 GW of installed solar manufacturing capacity by 2017.

 

The 3-phases of National Solar Mission

The above objectives of National Solar Mission will be achieved in 3 phases.
Phase I (2009-12)

The objective in Phase I (2009-12) will be to achieve rapid scale up to drive down costs, to spur domestic manufacturing and to validate the technological and economic viability of different solar applications. This will be done through promotion of commercial scale solar utility plants, mandated deployment of solar rooftop or on-site solar PV (photovoltaic) applications in government and public sector undertaking buildings, promotion of these applications in other commercial buildings, and mandating that at least five percent of power generating capacity being added every year will be through solar sources.
Vacant land in existing power plants will be used for this purpose, and anybody who produces solar power at home or office will be able to sell the excess back to the power distributor. Solar PV panels will be promoted to charge invertors at homes and offices.
Phase II (2012-17)

Phase II will run from 2012 to 2017 during which schemes which are found to work in Phase I will be scaled up.
Phase III (2017-20)

Phase III, from 2017 to 2020, will see further scaling up with minimal or no subsidy. This envisages the installation of one million rooftop solar energy systems, plus solar lighting for 20 million households.

The Expected Outcomes of the Mission

  1. India will reduce its emission of carbon dioxide — the world’s main greenhouse gas that is leading to climate change — by almost 60 million tonnes a year.
  2. India will be able to save 1.05 billion litres of diesel, a billion litres of kerosene and 350 million litres of fuel oil per year by 2020.
  3. The plan advocates change in law to enable people to sell extra solar power they generate to utility firms.
  4. A 10-year tax holiday and customs and excise duty exemptions on capital equipment and critical materials are proposed in the plan.
  5. If the plan succeeds, India will become the world’s largest solar energy market.

 

Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change

This council comprises Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, external affairs minister, finance minister, ministers of environment and forests, agriculture, water resources, science and technology, new and renewable energy, the deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, the National Security Advisor, C. Rangarajan, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council, Ratan Tata, chairman of the Investment Commission, V. Krishnamurthy, chairman of the National Manufacturing Competitive Council, R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to PM, R.K. Pachauri, chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Prodipto Ghosh, Chandrashekhar Dasgupta and Nitin Desai of TERI, Sunita Narain of the Centre for Science and Environment, Ajay Mathur, chairman of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Jyoti Parekh, director of IRADe, journalists Raj Chengappa and R. Ramachandran, the foreign secretary, the secretary in the ministry of environment and forests, and the principal secretary to the PM, who is the convenor.

Some Suggestions for Policy Makers (Excerpts from an article by Ramanathan Menon, Editor and Publisher, Sun Power)

  1. Vigorous promotion of renewable energy by government agencies, corporate, public sector, academic institutions etc.;
  2. Establishment of national-level body to increase awareness of renewable energy at grass-root level;
  3. Financial support and sponsorship for research and development in renewable energy technologies;
  4. Ambitious goals and targets for power generation non-conventional sources;
  5. Installation of solar / wind / biomass power generation systems and energy saving in every government office to encourage and inspire people;
  6. Restriction on using large battery energy storage systems;
  7. Compulsory installation of solar water heating systems for all urban residential and commercial establishment;
  8. Mandatory renewable energy systems provision for new residential, commercial and industrial buildings;
  9. Attractive incentives and subsidies for installation and successful operation of renewable energy equipment;
  10. Abolishing duties / taxes on import of small-scale renewable energy generating equipment;
  11. Cultivation of energy crops on marginal and degraded land;
  12. Use of biofuels in vehicles;
  13. Soft loans for setting up renewable energy enterprises
  14. Additional incentives for buyers and manufacturers of renewable energy equipments in rural areas.

with hints from : energypulse , wikipedia, IANS, Photo Coutsey: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy , Govt. of India

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