National Solar Mission

Jawaharlal Nehru national Solar mission targets 20,000MW by 2022

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, also known as National Solar Mission, is one of the eight key National Mission’s which comprise India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change(NAPCC). NAPCC was launched on 30th June 2008 which identified development of solar energy technologies in the country  as  a  National Mission. Finally on January 11, 2010 GoI approved National Solar Mission.

The Solar Mission recommends the implementation in 3 stages leading up to an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan in 2022. It serves twin purposes:

                                                          i) Long term energy Securty

                                                          ii) Ecological Security

Objective  of  the  National  Solar  Mission:  is  to  establish  India  as  a  global leader  in  solar  energy,  by  creating  the  policy conditions  for  its  diffusion  across  the country as quickly as possible.

Present Scenario

  • A total of 106 projects accounting a total of 40.648 MW has been sanctioned during 2010-11 under off Grid SPV application of JNNSM.
  • NVVN, which is the nodal agency for Solar Projects during the next three years, i.e., before March 2013 and are connected to the grid at a voltage level of 33 kV and above has selected 37 projects accounting for a total of 1480 MW(32 projects – 5MW each; 1 project – 20 MW; 3projects – 100MW each).
  • The projects sanctioned under NVVN, has to submit financial closure details by July, 9 but the ministry has received financial closure details of 17 photovoltaic (PV) and two concentrated solar power (CSP) projects only till June 30, 2011.



Other than energy and ecological security the Solar mission will also has the advantage of permitting the decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroot level”. Also “India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. The daily average solar energy incident over India varies from 4 to 7 kWh/m2 with about 1500–2000 sunshine hours per year, depending upon location resulting in an aggregate incident radiation of about 5000 trillion Kwh/yr. This is far more than current total energy consumption. For example, even assuming 10% conversion efficiency for PV modules, it will still be thousand times greater than the likely electricity demand in India by the year 2015. Solar energy, therefore, has great potential as future energy source. Based on this vision a National Solar Mission is being launched under the brand name “Solar India”.

The Mission will  adopt  a  3-phase  approach, 

  • spanning  the  remaining  period  of the 11th Plan and first year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) – Phase 1,
  •  the remaining 4 years of  the 12th Plan  (2013-17) – Phase 2 and  
  • the 13th Plan (2017-22) – Phase 3

The  immediate  aim  of  the  Mission  is  to  focus  on  setting  up  an  enabling environment  for solar  technology penetration  in  the country both at a centralized and decentralized  level. Also the Mission anticipates achieving grid parity by 2022 and parity with coal-based thermal power by 2030

Mission Targets

To achieve the above mentioned target of 20,000 MW by 2022 by 3 phase approach under prevailing conditions is not an easy job, in short the mission needs supporting policies and incentives to achieve the target. The mission targets are:

  • To create an enabling policy framework for the deployment of 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022.
  • To ramp up capacity of grid-connected solar power generation to 1000 MW within three years – by 2013; an additional 3000 MW by 2017 through the mandatory use of the renewable purchase obligation by utilities backed with a preferential tariff. This capacity can be more than doubled – reaching 10,000MW installed power by 2017 or more, based on the enhanced and enabled international finance and technology transfer. The ambitious target for 2022 of 20,000 MW or more, will be dependent on the ‘learning’ of the first two phases, which if successful, could lead to conditions of grid-competitive solar power. The transition could be appropriately up scaled, based on availability of international finance and technology.
  • To create favourable conditions for solar manufacturing capability, particularly solar thermal for indigenous production and market leadership.
  • To promote programmes for off grid applications, reaching 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022 .
  • To achieve 15 million sq. meters solar thermal collector area by 2017 and 20 million by 2022.
  • To deploy 20 million solar lighting systems for rural areas by 2022.

5. Proposed Roadmap

The aspiration is to ensure large-scale deployment of solar generated power for grid connected as well as distributed and decentralized off-grid provision of commercial energy services. The deployment across the application segments is envisaged as follows:

Mission strategy (phase 1)


The Government  has  also  decided  to  approve  the  implementation  of  the  first phase  of  the  Jawaharlal  Nehru  National  Solar  Mission  during  2009-2013  and thetarget to set up 1,000 MW grid connected ( 33 KV and above) solar plants,100 MW of roof  top  and  small  solar  plants  connected  to  LT/11  KV  grid  and  200  MW  capacity equivalent off-grid solar applications  in  the  first phase of  the Mission,  till March, 2013. An amount of Rs.4337 crore has been approved  for  the activities proposed under  the first phase of  the Mission till March 2013.

The  implementation  of the  target  of  1,000 MW  of  grid  connected  (33 KV  and above)  solar  power  plants  will  be  through  NTPC  Vidyut  Vyapar  Nigam  (NVVN),  a trading subsidiary of NTPC Limited. NVVN will directly purchase  the solar power  from the project developers as per the norms and guidelines fixed in this regard.

100 MW capacity of solar roof top and small grid connected solar power plants  will be  connected  to  LT/11  KV  grid  of  the  distribution  utility  and  the  solar  power  will  be directly purchased by  the distribution utilities as per  the norms and guidelines  fixed  in this regard.

200 MW equivalent capacity of off-grid solar applications, both solar  thermal and photovoltaic will be  implemented    through a combination of  low  interest bearing  loans and  /or  central  financial  assistance.  as  per  the  norms  and  guidelines  fixed  in  this regard.

In addition, the Mission will support various activities, as considered necessary, on R&D,  Human  Resource  Development,  Technical  Assistance,  training,  publicity  and awareness etc. for successful implementation of the Mission

Policy and regulatory framework

  • The objective of the Mission is to create a policy and regulatory environment which provides a predictable incentive structure that enables rapid and large-scale capital investment in solar energy applications and encourages technical innovation and lowering of costs.  
  • The National Tariff Policy 2006 mandates the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC) to fix a minimum percentage of energy purchase from renewable sources of energy taking into account availability of such resources in the region and its impact on retail tariff. National Tariff Policy, 2006 would be modified to mandate that the State electricity regulators fix a percentage for purchase of solar power. The solar power purchase obligation for States may start with 0.25% in the phase I and to go up to 3% by 2022.  The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has recently issued guidelines for fixing feed-in-tariff for purchase of Solar power taking into account current cost and technology trends. These will be revised on an annual basis. 
  • The CERC has also stipulated that Power Purchase Agreement that utilities will conclude with Solar power promoters, should be for a period of 25 years. In order to enable the early launch of “Solar India” and encourage rapid scale up, a scheme is being introduced in cooperation with the Ministry of Power, the NTPC and the Central Electricity Authority, which would simplify the off-take of solar power and minimize the financial burden on Government. 
  • In order to incentivise setting up of a large number of Solar Power Projects, while minimizing the impact on tariff various alternatives were explored. One of the options is to bundle solar power along with power out of the cheaper unallocated quota of Central stations and selling this bundled power to state distribution utilities at the CERC regulated price. This will bring down the gap between average cost of power and sale price of power. For the purpose of bundling, power has to be purchased by an entity and re-sold to the state power distribution utilities. Such function can be done only by a trading company/Discoms, as per the existing statutory provisions. NTPC has a wholly owned subsidiary company engaged in the business of trading of Power – NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd. (NVVN). NVVN will be designated as nodal agency by the Ministry of Power (MoP) for entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Solar Power Developers to purchase solar power fed to 33 KV and above grid, in accordance with the tariff and PPA duration as fixed by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission. The Ministry of Power shall allocate to NVVN, equivalent megawatt capacity, from the Central unallocated quota, from NTPC power stations, at the rate notified by the CERC for bundling together with solar power. NVVN will undertake the sale of the bundled power to State utilities at the rates determined as per CERC regulations. When NVVN supplies bundled power to State utilities at the rates determined as per CERC regulations, those State utilities will be entitled to use the solar part of the bundled power for meeting their Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO) under the Electricity Act, 2003.  
  • The Mission will encourage rooftop solar PV and other small solar power plants, connected to LT/11 KV grid, to replace conventional power and diesel-based generators. It is envisaged that distribution utility will pay the tariff determined by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission for the metered electricity generated from such applications (whether consumed by the grid connected owner of the rooftop/ground mounted installation or fed into the grid). Under the Solar Mission, a normative Generation Based Incentive will be payable to the utility and would be derived as the difference between the solar tariff determined by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission for the concerned solar generation technology less an assumed base price of Rs. 5.50/kWh with 3% annual escalation. Funds will be disbursed through Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), a PSU under MNRE. The distribution utilities will be entitled to account such electricity generated and consumed within their license areas for fulfillment of RPOs.

Fiscal incentives

It is also recommended that custom duties and excise duties concessions/ exemptions be made available on specific capital equipment, critical materials , components and project imports.

Solar Manufacturing in India

One of the Mission objectives is to take a global leadership role in solar manufacturing (across the value chain) of leading edge solar technologies and target a 4-5 GW equivalent of installed capacity by 2020, including setting up of dedicated manufacturing capacities for poly silicon material to annually make about 2 GW capacity of solar cells. India already has PV module manufacturing capacity of about 700 MW, which is expected to increase in the next few years. The present indigenous capacity to manufacture silicon material is very low, however, some plants are likely to be set up soon in public and private sector. Currently, there is no indigenous capacity/capability for solar thermal power projects; therefore new facilities will be required to manufacture concentrator collectors, receivers and other components to meet the demand for solar thermal power plants. To achieve the installed capacity target, the Mission recommends the following: · Local demand creation: The 20 GW plan supported with right level of incentives for solar generation coupled with large government pilot/demonstration programs will make the Indian market attractive for solar manufacturers· Financing & Incentives: SEZ like incentives to be provided to the manufacturing parks which may include:

  • Zero import duty on capital equipment, raw materials and excise duty exemption
  • Low interest rate loans, priority sector lending
  • Incentives under Special Incentive Package (SIPs) policy to set up integrated manufacturing plants; (i) from poly silicon material to solar modules; and (ii) thin film based module manufacturing plants. . Under the SIP scheme of the Department of Information Technology, there are 15 applications in the domain of solar photovoltaic, which includes cell manufacturing, (both crystalline and thin film) and poly-silicon manufacturing among others. The combined capacity projected by these 15 companies could result in the production of 8-10 GW solar power by the year 2022 which would be sufficient for meeting the Mission targets even after accounting for exports.
  • It is also recommended that solar components be covered under the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s star rating programme to ensure high standards. Similar incentives will be required for manufacture of CSP systems and their components. A Committee may be set up to formulate a policy for promotion of solar thermal manufacture in the country. · Ease of doing business: In consultation with States, create a single window clearance mechanism for all related permissions. · Infrastructure & ecosystem enablers: Create 2-3 large solar manufacturing tech parks consisting of manufacturing units (across the solar value chain), housing, offices, and research institutes. These will have 24×7 power and water supply and will likely need to be located near large urban centres with good linkages to ports and airports to ensure rapid access to imported raw materials and high quality engineering talent.

7. Research and Development

This Mission will launch a major R&D programme in Solar Energy, which will focus on improving efficiency in existing applications, reducing costs of Balance of Systems, testing hybrid co-generation and addressing constraints of variability, space-intensity and lack of convenient and cost-effective storage. The R&D strategy would comprise dealing with five categories viz. i) Basic research having long term perspective for the development of innovative and new materials, processes and applications, ii) Applied research aimed at improvement of the existing processes, materials and the technology for enhanced performance, durability and cost competitiveness of the systems/ devices, iii) Technology validation and demonstration projects aimed at field evaluation of different configurations including hybrids with conventional power systems for obtaining feedback on the performance, operability and costs, iv) development of R&D infrastructure in PPP mode, and v) support for incubation and start ups. To support the R&D Strategy, the Mission may include the following:

  • Setting up a high level Research Council comprising eminent scientists, technical experts and representatives from academic and research institutions, industry, Government and Civil Society to guide the overall technology development strategy.
  • A National Centre of Excellence (NCE) shall be established to implement the technology development plan formulated by the Research Council and serve as its Secretariat.
  • The Research Council, in coordination with the National Centre of Excellence, inventorize existing institutional capabilities for Solar R&D and encourage the setting up of a network of Centres of Excellence, each focusing on an R&D area of its proven competence and capability. 
  • incubation and start ups, the Mission could tie up with institutions like Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) based in IIM Ahmedabad to incubate solar energy start-ups and SMEs in India through mentoring, networking and financial support. A fund could be established to aim at supporting at least 50 start-ups developing and deploying solar related technologies across India over the next 5 years and would be managed by a professional entity. 

Human Resource Development

The rapid and large-scale diffusion of Solar Energy will require a concomitant increase in technically qualified manpower of international standard. Some capacity already exists in the country, though precise numbers need to be established. However, it is envisaged that at the end of Mission period, Solar industry will employ at least 100,000 trained and specialized personnel across the skill spectrum. These will include engineering management and R&D functions. The following steps may be required for Human Resource Development:

  • IITs and premier Engineering Colleges will be involved to design and develop specialized courses in Solar Energy, with financial assistance from Government. 
  • A Government Fellowship programme to train 100 selected engineers / technologies and scientists in Solar Energy in world class institutions abroad will be taken up. 
  • Setting up of a National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education at IIT, Mumbai drawing upon its Department of Energy Science and Engineering and its Centre for Excellence in Nano-Electronics.

MNRE. (2010). Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. Towards Building SOLAR INDIA.

MNRE. (2010). Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission(Journal). 1-2.

Desai, V. (June 30, 2011). Half of firms awarded solar projects yet to achieve financial closure. Economic Times.

MNRE. (SPV Division). Details of Projects sanctioned during 2010-11 under Off Grid Solar applications of JNNSM.

NVVN . List of Selected Projects.


7 Responses to National Solar Mission

  1. We need to introduce solar panel related technologies in graduation curriculum of all science streams

  2. shivaprasad.p says:

    lot of information given , indian solar map is drawn

  3. Vipin says:

    How many states have separate solar policies?

  4. chandra says:

    i am chandra interested in suplyeing solar energy to india

  5. awesome information by author i really appereciate his work. i have bookmarked ur site for future view. thanks

  6. sohail says:

    great info, lots of research work

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