Cost of power from solar lanterns to come down by 2013: govt

Cost of power from solar lanterns to come down by 2013: govt

New Delhi: The cost of power from solar lanterns is likely to come down by 2013 from 11 per unit to the rate at which conventional electricity is generated; the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said during Question Hour that the price of power generated from solar lanterns when the Jawaharlal Nehru National Social Mission (JNNSM) started in 2010 was 18 per unit. “In the same year, the price came down to 11 per unit," after tenders for buying solar lanterns were invited, he said, adding 20,000 mw of solar electricity generation is being targeted from solar power by 2022.

In the first phase where 1300 mw is being targeted, companies selling solar lanterns are allowed to import the equipment if they are not available locally.

In the second phase, companies will be required to set up local manufacturing facility to produce solar lanterns that will help bring down the cost.

“By 2013, the rates of solar lantern (generated power) will be same as the rate at which you are getting this (conventional) electricity," Abdullah said.

The government, he said, provides central financial assistance of 30% of the cost of installation under the JNNSM for solar lanterns and solar home lighting system in general category states and up to 90% in special category states.

“The Ministry is also providing 30% subsidy and 50% re-finance of the benchmark cost of 300 per Wp for solar lighting system through National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard)," he added.