Indian government committee attacks “disappointing” National Solar Mission

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A Parliamentary panel has labelled India’s New and Renewable Energy Ministry’s (MNRE) approach to its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) as “disappointing” and “lackadaisical”.

The aim of the JNNSM is to create a 20GW project pipeline by 2022, but the Standing Committee on Energy believes that insufficient funding and planning have already undermined the programme’s chances of achieving this ambitious target.

“When the success of the whole mission critically depends on how things turn out in first phase of the mission, the lackadaisical approach of the Ministry in implementing the first phase of mission is not only disappointing but unacceptable also,” the report said.

In its initial phase, securing financial backing has proved to be one of the major hurdles facing the JNNSM and its developers. The Committee highlighted that the Ministry required between INR12,000 and INR15,000 in order to reach its early installation targets, but its supporting agency, IREDA, was unable to raise the required funds.

The panel headed by Motilal Vora (Congress) recommended that the government act with “urgency and dedication” to turn around the JNNSM’s fortunes. “The Ministry has not come up with any kind of understanding with any nationalised bank or financial institution to fund the projects of the [JN]NSM,” the report continued. “Set up a monetary mechanism to evaluate the success of the mission from time to time to ensure proper remedial measures for problems that may surface during implementation of the projects.”

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