DIREC (Delhi International Renewable Energy Conference 27-29 October 2010) will focus on several sectors of renewable energy: solar, wind, biomass & cogeneration, hydro, geothermal and energy efficiency.
India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) consists of eight key National Missions; one of them is the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Its ambitious aim is the promotion and development of solar energy throughout the country. It is anticipated that through scaling up and technological improvements, the price of solar power will reach parity with grid power by the end of the Five Year Plan in 2022 and thus accelerate into a large expansion.
The mission, implemented in three stages, will lead up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW and contribute to India’s energy security as well as its ecological security.
A major promotion of roof-top P.V. applications combined with attractive solar tariffs is part of the mission, and the establishment of a single window investor-friendly mechanism reducing risks and providing predictable extended tariffs for the grid will secure India’s top placement as the third most attractive country for investment into the sector.
The much focused R&D (research and development) program of the mission seeks to address India-specific challenges in the promotion and development of solar energy. The targets of the Solar Mission in India are:
- Creating the policy framework necessary for developing 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022
- Creating conditions to boost solar manufacturing capability with a focus on solar thermal
- Achieving 15 million square meters solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million square meters solar thermal collector area by 2022
- Programs for off-grid application in a bid to improve rural electrification
- Solar lighting systems for rural areas-20 million systems by 2022
- Based on availability of international finance and technology at least 20,000 MW of installed solar power connected to the grid
The promotion of the mission as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change as well as solar energy in general is one of the intentions of DIREC. It is also an opportunity to broadcast the incentives offered for the implementation of solar energy. These incentives include zero or concessional duty applicable on import of certain specific items and zero excise duty on domestic manufacture of many solar energy devices and systems. Furthermore CERC (Central Electricity Regulatory Commission) has announced preferential tariff of Rs. 18.44 per unit for solar PV power and Rs. 13.45 per unit for solar thermal power for 25 years and the review of costs every year and to fix tariff accordingly for new projects.
India, favored by its climate and with its huge and well-educated labour force is predestined to be a leader in the field of solar energy, and DIREC is yet another opportunity to strengthen this position as well as to provide a platform for international actors in the field. The conference will provide a link from Copenhagen to Cancun, line out the policies required to enable a major scale up for the implementation of renewable energy and highlight the need to mobilize finance for renewable energy innovation and deployment.
DIREC will also serve to show the benefits of collaboration, synergies, and knowledge-sharing at an international level in order to accelerate the transition towards sustainable economies.