To realise this ambitious target, the government and the industry would together create many Solar Valleys – on the lines of the Silicon Valley – which will become hubs for solar science, engineering, fabrication and manufacturing.
The mission is the first operational programme suggested by the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change to gradually shift India towards a green economy.
In the first phase between 2010 and 2013, the Centre will install solar power up to 1,100 MW, out of which 200 MW will be added to the grid. The rest will be used in solar photovoltaic and solar thermal applications like rural electrification and water heating respectively.
In the second phase between 2013 and 2017, 4,000 MW of power will be installed, out of which 1,000 MW will be connected to the grid.
A massive scaling up will be undertaken in the last phase in which the installed base will be expanded to 20,000 MW.
Over the next three years, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) will bundle expensive solar power with cheap thermal power. When the state utilities purchase solar power from NVVN they will get an equivalent amount of thermal power from NVVN.
This will enable the consumers to buy power at a cheaper price at about Rs 5 or less per unit. Each unit of electricity produced by solar units cost Rs 18.44 whereas the same for solar thermal applications stands at Rs 13.45.