New gold rush

By Arnab Pratim Dutta
Published: Tuesday 15 June 2010

New gold rush

imageIndia is on a mission. To drastically ramp up its solar power production to 22,000 MW by 2022.

From steel makers and automobile manufacturers to diamond merchants and realtors everyone sees the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission as their chance to strike gold.
But it is not so easy. The first phase of the solar mission focuses on producing 1,000 MW. To be precise in the first year of the mission, only 150 MW of capacity would be added. There is little scope for power producers to build large plants that feed electricity into the grid. Technology is another challenge. Indian solar equipment makers still cannot match the best in the world. In 16 years India wants to reduce the cost of solar power to that of coal. This can happen only by promoting research and competition, says Arnab Pratim Dutta

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