Sucheta Dalal :National solar mission targets ‘challenging and unclear’
Sucheta Dalal

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National solar mission targets ‘challenging and unclear’   

March 22, 2010

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (NSM) was launched in January this year, to meet India’s power requirement and to address environment issues involved in power generation. However, according to a report released by a Pune-based energy group named Prayas, the targets set by the Mission are “unclear and challenging.” 

Prayas Energy group, a Pune-based non-government organisation (NGO) actively working in the energy segment since 1990, recently released its report named ‘Need to Realign India’s National Solar Mission’. In the report, Prayas highlights that the NSM’s targets set for 2022 will be challenging given the abysmal solar power capacity that India was able to produce till 2009.


NSM has set 20 million solar lighting systems as its target for 2022 while India had 1.3 million solar lighting systems in 2009.


The report stated, “Achieving the grid-connected and off-grid solar capacity targets will be an enormous challenge given that even annual targets of NSM are several times more than the total installed capacity till 2009.”


NSM targets to achieve 20GW of grid-connected installed solar capacity and 2GW of off-grid distributed solar plants by the end of the 12th Five Year plan in 2022. As an annual target, NSM aims to achieve 331MW of grid-connected solar power and 66MW of off-grid solar power in Phase I (between 2010- 2013). The Indian government has sanctioned targets for Phase I, while the targets for Phase II (between 2013- 2017) and Phase III (between 2013- 2017) are to be fixed based on the achievements during Phase I, decline in solar energy prices and availability of international finance.


According to the solar power statistics for 2009 from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), grid-connected solar power capacity was 6MW and off-grid solar power capacity was 2.4MW. The report released by Prayas pointed out that the NSM targets are quite challenging to achieve when compared to India’s 2009 solar power capacity.


In the solar-lighting segment alone, the target is hard to achieve. In order to achieve 20 million solar lighting systems, NSM would have to provide 4,250 systems every day till 2022. More details at:

(see here) — Moneylife Digital Team


-- Sucheta Dalal