‘Indian government set to overhaul national solar mission’

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The Indian government is set to make significant changes to its national solar mission, according to industry observers based in the country.

Talking to PV Tech, Jasmeet Khurana, senior consulting manager at analyst firm, Bridge to India, said a new, more ambitious plan for the JNNSM national solar mission is to be announced soon.

A total of 1,500MW of grid-connected solar tenders was announced under the second batch of the second round of JNNSM  just two months ago, this July.

But Khurana said there would “definitely be a change” to the 1,500MW JNNSM target, said Khurana.

Although Khurana said no official target would be announced until further industry evaluation had been undertaken, Bridge to India reported an unconfirmed 15GW target for JNNSM projects by 2019.

This will be accompanied with new measures to allow for quicker land acquisition, interconnection and transmission, to make way for more ambitious deployment, said Khurana.

Khurana said the process for solar developments is expected to be streamlined, which is in line with the recent draft released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), for 20GW of ‘ultra mega’ solar parks, to be developed over the next five years, with incentives for parks similar to mechanisms used to develop solar parks in the state of Gujarat.

“India could easily exceed the [JNNSM] 20GW target well ahead of time,” Bridge to India said in a newsletter yesterday.

Following the August deadline to conclude a dispute over anti-dumping duties (ADD) for foreign PV imports to India, which saw no duties implemented, the minister for power, Shri Piyush Goyal also told solar developers, manufacturers and stakeholders the government is aiming to create a solar market for 5-7GW of solar energy to be installed every year.  

Goyal also promised government purchases for all domestically manufactured PV equipment, and urged the industry to run at full capacity and expand.

Bridge to India said its sources had indicated a target of 15GW by 2019 from central government-led solar schemes. Previously the JNNSM second phase had targeted 9GW by 2017, with central government projects accounting for only 3.6GW and the rest coming from individual states and private actors.

Although this 15GW figure is unconfirmed, Bridge to India said it expected the realisation of this higher target to begin with three 1GW project allocations later this year or early next year.

The movement by the India government to ramp up solar ambitions and streamline developments is in accordance with the new prime minister, Narendra Modi’s solar ambitions and election promises for more electricity access.

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