India announces draft strategy for Phase II of Solar Mission
Dec 05, 2012 - Nilima Choudhury - pv-tech.org
The majority of project allocations will be completed under the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) offered to private investors in the form of grants from the government. The scheme aims to ensure widespread access to infrastructure provided through a public-private partnership framework by subsidising the capital cost to developers by 20% and thereby reducing the need for government involvement in solar projects.
Phase II will also include aid to solar manufacturers across the value chain, although details were not provided in the draft policy. Financing for manufacturers will be crucial at this time, with the Indian Solar Manufacturers’ Association having approached the World Trade Organisation over complaints against foreign manufacturers undercutting domestic manufacturers.
Speaking to PV-Tech, Pashpathy Goplan, Managing Director of SunEdison South Asia, Africa and Middle East said: “The trade case could affect the effectiveness of the JNNSM. Domestic manufacturers are not cost competitive therefore the cost of modules will increase making projects more expensive to build.”
Goplan added: “I am confident the JNNSM will be able to achieve what it has set out in Phase II because the decision-makers were able to achieve their goals in Phase I.”
However, Tarun Kapoor, spokesman for MNRE assured PV-Tech that the anti-dumping case would not affect the successful implementation of the JNNSM.
Kapoor said: “We are very confident we will achieve our goals. It will not be easy, but we will certainly achieve our goals.”
Furthermore, a ministry division, the Solar Energy Centre, is being renamed as the National Institute of Solar Energy, which will specialise in research and development, resource assessment, training and testing.
Under Phase I, India's current installed capacity reached 1,050MW by August 2012, just short of 50MW of its 1,100MW target.