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What is the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)?

India is a tropical nation, where daylight is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. Thus, solar energy in India has a huge potential as a future energy source. The country also has the advantage of allowing the decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroots level. 

In light of this vision, a National Solar Mission was launched by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh on 11 January 2010. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) aims to achieve 20 GW solar capacity by the year 2022. Under Prime Minister Modi's regime, the target was increased from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2022 in the 2015 Union Budget of India.

It is to be noted that the original target of 20,000 MW was surpassed in the year 2018, ahead of its 2022 deadline. 

About Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)

1- Objective: To establish India as a global leader in solar energy. 

2- Mission: The Government of India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to achieve 20 GW solar capacity by the year 2022 in three phases. However, on 1 July 2015, the Government revised the target from 20 GW to 100 GW by the year 2022. 

A 3-phase approach of the National Solar Mission

Phase-I: It consists of 11th Plan and first year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) with a target of 1.4 GW. 

Phase-II: It consists of the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan (2013-17) with a target of 11-15 GW.

Phase-III: It consists of the 13th Plan (2017-22) with a target of 22 GW.

3- Achievements: 

(a) On 31 March 2010, India installed solar capacity of 161 MW.

(b) On 31 March 2015, India installed solar capacity of 3,744 MW. 

4- Year-wise Targets:

Table: Year-wise Targets (in MW)
Category 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Rooftop Solar 200 4,800 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 40,000
Ground Mounted Solar projects 1,800 7,200 10,000 10,000 10,000 9,500 8,500 57,000
Total 2,000 12,000 15,000 16,000 17,000 17,500 17,500 97,000

5- Funds:

(a) The total investment in setting up 100 GW will be around Rs 6,00,000 crores.

(b) In Phase-I, Rs. 15,050 crores will be provided by the Government of India as a capital subsidy to promote solar capacity addition in the country.

(c) Solar power projects with an investment of about Rs 90,000 crore would be developed using Bundling mechanism with thermal power. 

(d) Further investments will come from large Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

(e) The State Governments of India have also come out with State-specific solar policies to promote solar capacity addition. 

6- The 100 GW target will comprise of: 

(a) Rooftop Solar Electricity Generation- 40 GW

(b) Large and Medium Scale Grid-Connected Solar Power Projects – 60 GW

7-  Targets to increase capacity in Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission:

S.No. Area Target for Phase-I Target for Phase-II Target for Phase-III
1. Utility grid power with rooftop 1,000-2,000 MW 4,000-10,000 MW 20,000 MW
2. Off-Grid Solar Applications 200 MW 1000 MW 2000 MW
3. Solar collector 7 million sq.m. 15 million sq.m. 20 million sq.m.

8- Implementation model:

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) aims to achieve the target of 100 GW under the three schemes of 19,200 MW. These are as follows:

(a) Viability Gap Funding (VGF) 

(b) Bundling scheme

(c) Generation Based Incentive (GBI) Scheme

Importance of solar energy for India

1- Cost: Solar energy is high on absolute costs in comparison to other sources of powers. 

2- Scalability: India is endowed with vast solar energy potential, thereby the conversion of solar radiation into heat and electricity through solar thermal and solar photovoltaics, can effectively be harnessed providing huge scalability for solar in India. 

3- Environmental impact: Solar energy is environmentally friendly as it has zero emissions while generating electricity or heat.

4- Security of source: Solar energy is the most secure source of energy from m an energy security perspective as it is available in abundant amount.   

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