You are here

India to revamp solar energy research institute

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy approves plans to update solar energy centre in Haryana to advance solar technology

The Solar Energy Centre in Haryana
The MNRE’s approval will allow the refurbishment of the Solar Energy Centre, first opened in 1982

India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has approved plans for a new solar energy research institute. The National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) will be a revamp of the current Solar Energy Centre in Haryana, India, which was established in 1982.

The new solar energy centre will focus on improving cost efficiency and commercialism of solar projects, keeping pace with international competitors. It also aims to encourage use of nationally sourced solar equipment and raise efficiency. 

Dr. A.K. Tripathi, minister of solar and green implementation, spoke to RET about the centre and the work the ministry is doing.
He said: ''we have a national solar mission under which we have a target to achieve 22,000MW [for solar power] by 2022. We have already achieved 1,850MW in the last three years. (Our research) is based on systems of solar thermal and solar PV technologies. We are doing various researches in the main applications of these technologies for future projects across India''.

The MNRE has announced plans over the last few months, which are seeing renewable energy technology developments move forward in India. This includes India's first floating solar power station, announced in August. Under the aegis of the MNRE, a National Offshore Wind Energy Authority is also being formed in India, which is set to make offshore wind power a reality in the BRIC country.

According to reports, however, Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, a clean energy communications and consulting firm, is concerned about the plans for the centre and what it will offer India. Reports have said that while he I "applauds" the government on following through with it, the current market conditions are very "different" today than a few years ago.

He said it remains to be seen how the National Institute of Solar Energy will "differ" from other solar R&D centres in India.