The Centre will soon provide a helping hand for entrepreneurs to set up domestically engineered solar power plants. There would be an interest subsidy on loan interest for solar projects provided the components are sourced from domestic producers.The ministry of new and renewable energy is working on a new interest subvention or subsidy scheme for solar projects even though the US had objected to procuring components from domestic producers under Phase-I of the National Solar Mission and had threatened to move World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the clause.
Gireesh B Pradhan, secretary ministry of new and renewable energy told HT about the possibility of interest subvention scheme for the Phase-II of the mission, in which 4,000 MW to 10,000 MW of solar energy is targeted. The Phase-I of the mission is under implementation since 2011.
India has potential of generating up to 100,000 MW of power from renewable sources but the high investment required in the sector is said to be the biggest hindrance.
“Investment in renewable is steep for return. If the government fails to support solar energy projects many of them will become enviable,” Pradhan said and added the interest subvention will help in making these projects more viable.
The world’s highest cold desert, Ladakh, may be the new hub generating solar power.
The ministry is working on a project to set up approximately 250 MW of grid connected solar power, labelled as “solar heaven” of India.
A transmission link connecting this region to the national grid would allow the solar power generated in this area to be wheeled out , the secretary said.
Other states would also be getting their share to tap solar potential.
States like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Rajasthan have shown interest in setting up of mega solar thermal power plants of 500 MW as compared to biggest generation of 100 MW from a unit.
To fast track implementation, Pradhan said the states would be asked to provide land free of encumbrances and connectivity before the projects are sanctioned.