Keen to exploit solar energy, NDA Govt plans giant power plants

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solar energyFor the optimal utilization of solar energy in the country, four giant solar projects may be set up in the near future in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as the new Government is keen to promote renewable energy.

To achieve the target of commissioning of 20,000 Mw of solar power generation capacity ahead of target year 2022, the new Government may redesign Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission while the scope of the Electricity Act 2003 may also be expanded to push for higher utilization of renewable energy. India has already commissioned 2,650 Mw of solar power generation capacity, mostly in Gujarat with close to 1,000 Mw.

Besides the government wants to move forward to eliminate bottlenecks for ongoing capacity addition programme for solar power. To deal with delays in larger projects, the government has surveyed several sites and cities to assess the potential and viability of solar power in the country that receives enough radiation during its 300 sunny days a year.

Piyush Goyal, Minister for Power, Renewable Energy and Coal assessed the progress of solar power projects and directed officers to facilitate the development to set and achieve higher targets in next phases of the Mission. He did not rule out the possibility of setting higher targets or advancing the timeline of the Mission during his initial meet with officers.

“Now that MNRE is under the same minister as power, synchronizing of common issues such as grid connectivity and sale of power would be better. Policy delays hamper the investment, both domestic and foreign. With the clean energy sector receiving $7 billion worth of investment last year, about 70 per cent of which came from private players, we are hoping that it would double up by the end of the second phase in 2017,” said a senior MNRE official requesting anonymity.

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