Indian Government’s ambitious project to become a leader in solar power generation is now about to begin as biddings are invited from prospected vendors to build India’s biggest solar power capacity.
The government is aiming to generate 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022, which is currently at 2600 MW capacity.
This bidding is part of phase 2 of Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission; also called National Solar Mission which was launched in the year 2010. The first phase of the mission was scheduled between 2010-2013 and aimed to generate 1000 MW of solar power.
In the second phase between 2013-2017, government aims to generate 10,000 MW of solar power by 2017 and in the final stage, 20,000 MW by 2022.
This solar power mission has been claimed as the first success story wherein all three energy departments of Indian Government: coal, power and renewable energy collaborated and worked as a team to achieve success for generating solar power at such a huge scale. The solar power thus generated would be pooled in with unallocated conventional power and sold to states with energy deficiencies at a rate decided by the average of distribution companies.
As per the official communications, this bundling of different energies (solar, coal, power and renewable) would be managed by NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) which is the power trading arm of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC).
The good news is that the average cost of a unit in this bundled energy package would be 30-40% less than the current prices of solar power. As per the officials of NTPC, the cost of solar power has come down drastically in the last 3 years.
A brief look into the numbers in this solar power generation scheme in India:
- Current cost of solar power: Rs 6.5-Rs 8 per unit
- Current solar power capacity: 2600 MW
- Target for 2017 under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission: 10,000 MW
- Target for 2022 under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission: 20,000 MW
- - Average cost of pooled power (solar+coal+power+renewable energy): Rs 4-Rs 4.5 per unit
In addition to that, Government is also trying to launch mega power projects of 1000 MW which will further push the prices down.
In the year 2010, when the project started, it was Rs 17 per unit which crashed to Rs 8- Rs 10 per unit after three years and now Rs 6.5 – Rs 8 per unit currently.
Generation of solar power is indeed one of the biggest priorities of the current Modi Government as Northern India is currently facing acute shortage of power everyday. Once phase 2 and phase 3 are completed, we can be assured of uniform power distribution in rural as well urban India.
Here are updated records and data related to solar power projects under Govt. of India.