India’s National Solar Mission (NSM) – Target of 1,000 MW in Phase I

SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment Materials International) / PV Group, oneof the leading industry associations that serve the photovoltaic supplychain, in association with REAF (Renewable Energy Action Forum), TERI(The Energy Resource Institute) and Tata BP Solar organized a RoundTable today, with MNRE, Government of India, Energy Department,Government of Karnataka and representatives (CXOs) of leading companiesin the Solar/PV industry across India.

They discussed various strategies on accelerating the implementation of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JN-NSM).

Membersof the Round Table included, Deepak Gupta, Secretary, MNRE, Governmentof India, Dr B. Bhargava, Director, MNRE, K. Jairaj, PrincipalSecretary, Energy Department, Government of Karnataka, Sathya Prasad,President, SEMI India, Dr A. Ramachandran, Chairman, REAF, ShivanandaMurthy, KREDL, V. Hiremath, KERC, V.P. Ramachandran, NTPC Vidyut VyaparNigam, among other senior solar industry executives.

The NSMsets ambitious targets that will put India in the league of leadingnations in the deployment and use of renewable energy. SEMI PV Groupwith other industry and association partners is continuouslyfacilitating the interaction of the industry with both Central andState Governments in achieving the common goals set forth by NSM, withthe immediate one being the successful implementation of Phase I (1000MW by 2012).

Deepak Gupta, Secretary, MNRE, Government ofIndia, said: "There is highest commitment from the Central Governmentfor the implementation of the National Solar Mission. The fundamentalobjective of the NSM is to reduce cost through large scale deployment,indigenous manufacturing, use of better technology enabled throughR&D, in every stage of deployment."

Agreeing with Gupta oncost per megawatt and tariff, K Jairaj, Chairman of KREDL andAdditional Chief Secretary, Energy, Department of Karnataka, said: "Weare committed to the Solar Mission Framework given by the CentralGovernment. Karnataka is the first in India to launch grid connectedsolar projects and has sanctioned 115 MW of solar generation capacityin the state and recommended that this should be migrated to the grid."

Jairaj also spoke about the new Renewable Energy policy of thestate released in February and the aim of making Karnataka the number 1RE state in the Country by 2014.

Dr B. Bhargava, Director,MNRE, said: "The key feature of Phase I is its industry focus, oncapacity expansion and research activities, so that cost reduction cantake place. The strategy includes, supporting utility scale powergeneration, expanding off-grid applications, accelerating Research andDevelopment and enhancing the domestic manufacturing base." He added,"There may be a requirement of 1,000 young scientists and engineers toget trained on different solar energy technologies to fuel R&D. Atotal of 100,000 engineers, scientists and technicians would berequired by 2022 to fuel India’s solar/PV expansion. A significantnumber of Centres of Excellence across the country will also be set upfor building and grooming top flight talent."

SEMI/PV Grouprecently published a white paper on the Principles and Recommended BestPractices for Solar Feed-in-Tariffs. The President of the Group inIndia, Sathya Prasad, said: "The design of the Jawaharlal Nehru –National Solar Mission (JN-NSM) matches the outlined policy principlespublished by us. The success of the Mission’s implementation lies alsoin market making, customer awareness, technology progress andinnovative business models."

Industry representatives had anexcellent opportunity to interact with key Government officials onvarious issues relating to details and procedures for implementing theMission.

On this occasion, SEMI India also announced India’spremier solar/PV focused exhibition and conference, SOLARCON India2010, which will be held from July 28-30 in Hyderabad at the HICC.