Monday, November 29, 1999

Guidelines unveiled for schemes under solar mission

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New Delhi, Jun 16 (PTI) To tap the diverse and enormous potential of solar energy for use in all applications, Union minister Farooq Abdullah today unveiled the guidelines for two schemes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. These guidelines issued are for off-grid photo-voltaic and decentralised solar applications and rooftop and other small solar power plants. Pointing out that the guidelines were "flexible, simple and market friendly", Abdullah, Minister for New and Renewable Energy, said they were meant to "tap the diverse and enormous potential of solar energy in all applications --rural, urban and industrial." Under the three-phased National Solar mission, government aims to achieve the capacity of producing 20,000 MW of electricity through solar energy sources by year 2020. Observing that his ministry had created an enabling ecosystem for developing the solar energy sector, Abdullah said it was for the entrepreneurs and stakeholders to rise to the challenge. He said the guidelines aimed to address four critical areas including access to rural households for lighting and daily power requirements; reduction in consumption of kerosene and diesel; energy demand management through solar thermal systems and improvement of efficient transmission by feeding power at consumption points. He said the ministry had unveiled a migration policy under the NSM to give a head start to setting up grid-connected solar power plants and the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) had invited applications from project developers who were at an advanced stage of preparedness. "After the scrutiny of the applications, NVVN is now ready to announce the eligible developers and shall be formally issuing awards to them shortly," Abdullah said. Talking about the challenges faced by the mission, he said, "the present cost of solar energy systems is relatively high. Although capital subsidies and soft loans will make them affordable in the short run, only long term solution can be a declining cost curve." "We need accelerated research, advanced manufacturing and economies of scale. These alone can build the virtuous spiral that will help us attain grid parity before the end of the mission," he added. Speaking on the occasion, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia urged Public Sector units to invest more on research and development so that new technologies can emerge to make electricity affordable and easily accessible.

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1 comment:

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