Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission – An Overview:

  • The Government of India has recently embarked on one of the most ambitious Solar Power programmes in the world.
  • This mission is one of the eight key National Missions which comprise India's National Action Plan on Climate Change. It has twin objectives – to contribute to India's long term energy security as well as its ecological security. We are living in a world of rapidly depleting fossil fuel resources and access to conventional energy resources such as oil, gas and coal is becoming increasingly constrained. The rapid development and deployment of renewable energy is imperative in this context and in view of high solar radiation over the country, solar energy provides a long term sustainable solution.
  • Experts believe that Solar Power is one of the crucial ways of meeting our country's peak demand shortfall of 12 per cent. The Mission, divided into three phases, envisages that India will produce 1,00,000 Megawatt (MW) of electricity from solar energy by 2022, which is about 1/8th of India's present power generation capacity. That will be five times more than the capacity of Germany, which is world's leading solar energy producer today. Currently, the total solar energy capacity in our country is a mere 1800 MW. The plans are to use solar energy to power a series of houses or localities or even cities with the help of grid.
  • As the Mission gets underway, it will be mandatory for buildings such as hospitals, hotels and guest houses that occupy 500 square meters to deploy solar water heaters. All Government and Public Sector Undertakings of 500 square meters or more will have to install solar photovoltaic panels.
  • The environmental benefits of going solar are immense. According to the Mission document, India's carbon dioxide emissions will come down from 1510 million tones to 1450 million tones annually if the Mission is fully successfully. India will also save 1.35 billion liters of kerosene and diesel every year once the plans get implemented. This will mean a saving of Rs. 4,000-4,500 crores annually.

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