ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Ranjit DeshmukhSubscribe to Ranjit Deshmukh

India's Solar Mission: Procurement and Auctions

Competitive bidding adopted under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is an appropriate process for megawatt-scale solar power procurement, given the changing prices of solar power and the limited paying capacity of India's consumers and taxpayers. MW-scale plants may be useful to kick-start the solar photovoltaic industry in India. However, promoting such plants while photovoltaic costs are relatively higher than other renewable energy sources may not be financially and strategically prudent. India's focus needs to be on the development of decentralised solar-installed capacity in rural areas where it will have the most social impact

Need to Realign India's National Solar Mission

While solar energy has great potential as a renewable energy source for India, in terms of resource availability, flexibility in scale and applications, it is one of the most expensive of such options today. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, with an ambitious target of 22 GW of solar power capacity by 2022, is a departure from the past, as India has started to mainstream climate considerations in energy planning, and has allocated a large public subsidy for promotion of solar energy. But the mission objectives are unclear and actions are not aligned with India's development needs. Solar lanterns should be distributed using innovative mechanisms and a public process should be initiated to quickly develop a comprehensive plan for implementation of solar home lighting systems and off-grid solutions.
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