Solar Power – No Need to Seek Environmental Nod

Posted on June 6, 2011 by

The National Solar Mission gets a new nudge from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) with the issuance of memorandums that will exempt certain solar energy projects from the need to obtain environmental clearance and prioritize the handling of permit application for green construction projects.

 The memorandums were issued on May 10 and 13 and are in line with the national mission to increase grid-connected solar generation capacity from around 20 MW at the end of 2010 to 20,000 MW by 2020.

The exemption from seeking environmental clearance and creating environmental reports, etc., is likely to keep the Solar Mission on schedule. Such clearance generally take anywhere between 2 months to a year to be processed.

To further drive investor participation, the government is in the process of entering into a power purchase agreements for around 600 MW with solar farms as part of the first phase of the National Solar Mission. The second phase starting from 2013, will involve the setting up of 3000MV by 2017 and another 16,000MW of new capacity by 2022.

All the projects included in the scheme get a guaranteed purchase price of around 17 INR per power unit produced.

Most of the new solar farms are being set up by small firms in areas around the Thar desert. It is estimated that a fraction of the Thar desert, covered by solar panels, may be enough to meet India’s power need.

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Posted in: Renewable Energy