Home / Industry / Energy /  Govt ramps up solar power capacity target by five times

New Delhi: India’s target of solar power capacity under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar mission (JNNSM) has been scaled up five times—the country will aim to generate 100,000 MW from solar power by 2022, according to a decision taken by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.

The earlier target was 20,000 MW by 2022.

The revised target envisages tapping 40 GW from rooftop solar panels and 60 GW through large-and medium-scale grids connected solar power projects.

The revised target sets India on the path of becoming one of the largest green energy producers in the world. The new solar target of 100 GW is expected to abate over 170 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide in its life cycle.

The government hopes that the solar manufacturing sector will also get a boost with the long-term trajectory of solar power capacity addition. Apart from creating technology hubs for manufacturing, it will also throw up direct and indirect employment opportunities in both the skilled and unskilled sector.

“Solar power can contribute to the long term energy security of India and reduce dependence on fossil fuels that put a strain on foreign reserves and the ecology as well," the government said in a statement.

The government’s decision was aided by a reduction in the price of solar energy, which has come down from 17.90 per unit in 2010 to under 7 per unit now, as well as the rapid development of the sector. Installed solar capacity increased from 18 MW to about 3800 MW during 2010-2015.

Achieving the 100 GW target will need an investment in the range of 6 trillion with the government providing 15,050 crore as capital subsidy.

The government also intends to approach international donors as well as the UN’s Green Climate Fund for achieving this target. In order to achieve its aim, the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) has already directed ministries to initiate supporting interventions like identification of large chunks of land for solar projects; identification of large government complexes; and development of power transmission network among others.

The government is also looking at making amendments to the Electricity Act for strong enforcement of the Renewable Purchase Obligation and for providing Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO).

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