The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in India has taken another step forward towards its ambitious goal of every home in the country having solar panels by 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata party won with their biggest victory in 30 years in May’s general election, and newly-elected prime minister Narendra Modi has been prioritising solar power since the win.
Shri Piyush Goyal took over as minister for renewable energy at the end of May, and speaking at a recent press conference, he said his priority would be to “expand scope and usage of clean and green energy and to ensure synergy in the power, coal and renewable energy sectors”.
The government is planning to establish four giant solar projects with 1,000 megawatt (MW) capacity each, in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
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The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was established in 2010 and set the ambitious target of installing 10,000MW of solar power by 2017 and 20,000MW by 2022.
The solar power industry is currently dominated by Gujarat, which is a leading state in harnessing solar energy. Gujarat had a solar policy in place before the launch of the JNNSM and has the highest solar power capacity of all Indian states.
With 300 sunny days a year, the potential for solar power is huge, but so is the demand, with India’s economy expecting substantial growth in population and economic output in decades to come.
Goyal said he would learn from the Gujarat model as well as from any other places in the world where best practices could be implemented in India.
Photo: John S. Quarterman via Flickr