The Indian Government is planning to construct four giant solar power plants, with a capacity of 1,000MW each, as part of its efforts to accelerate the solar energy program.
The potential solar projects are expected to be located in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
In order to make renewable energy more affordable, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) plans to bundle solar and conventional power, The Economic Times reported.
In order to deal with larger project delays, several sites and cities have been surveyed by the government to assess the solar power's potential and viability in the country for receiving adequate radiation during its 300 days of sunshine a year.
On condition of anonymity, a senior MNRE official said with the clean energy sector receiving an investment of $7bn last year, where private sectors invested 70%, the ministry is hoping that it would double up by the end of the second phase in 2017.
"Now that MNRE is under the same minister as power, synchronising of common issues such as grid connectivity and sale of power would be better. Policy delays hamper the investment, both domestic and foreign," official said.
The government is also planning to re-design the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, aimed at achieving the target of commissioning of 20,000MW of solar power generation capacity ahead of targeted 2022.
Additionally, the Electricity Act 2003 scope may also be expanded to push for higher renewable energy utilisation.
Indian Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that the ministry has an opinion that the Electricity Act scope should be expanded to empower renewable energy.
Goyal said, "The Electricity Act 2003 does not deal extensively with renewable energy and state utilities cannot be compelled to procure expensive solar power through policies and regulations alone.
"It is believed that cost of solar power can be brought down by increasing the scale of demands for panels and equipment in the country."
Image: India plans to construct four solar energy plants. Photo: courtesy of Naypong/Freedigitalphotos.net.