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India to develop 10,000MW through solar energy by 2017

MNRE sets new solar power generation target for India to reach in next few years before 20,000MW goal for 2022

Solar panels
The MNRE has said the target of 20,000MW by 2022 could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power

India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set a target to generate 10,000MW through solar energy by the year 2017 in the BRIC country. Addressing the Solar Power Developers Meet in the Capital, the Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah said that the Phase I of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has been very successful, with 1685MW of solar power being generated against the target of 1100MW.

The Minister informed that large tracks of land have been identified in Rajasthan, Kargil and Ladakh which have immense potential of generation of solar power.

Abdullah said that the main challenge was starting a transmission line in the areas of Kargil and Ladakh so that power can be evacuated to other parts of the country. He also focused on the need for breakthrough in new research to ensure storage of solar energy for greater time period.

The Minister highlighted the new initiatives for ensuring greater use of solar power in the government buildings and also said that the Ministry planned to use mobile towers in a way that could generate power through solar and wind energy.

During the occasion, the Minister gave awards to 13 organisations and companies, including Welspun Energy, for having done commendable work in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. He expressed hope that the corporate sector will continue to contribute in a major way to the efforts of the Government in making India one of the leading producers of solar energy.

Mr Ratan P.Watal, secretary of the MNRE, highlighted the importance of developing solar power for meeting the solar requirements of around 40 per cent of the population which lacked access to energy resources. Even providing one unit of power to such houses throughout the year would in itself need a generation of 15,000MW of solar power. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission was launched on 11th January, 2010 by the Prime Minister. The Mission has set the ambitious target of deploying 20,000MW of grid connected solar power by 2022.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said: "The Mission has targeted a capacity of grid connected solar power generation of 1000MW within three years of its launch and to reach installed power capacity of 10,000 MW by the year 2017. The target of 20,000MW for 2022, which if successful, could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power."