National Missions

Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)

The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was launched in January, 2010 under the brand name ‘Solar India’. The National Solar Mission is a major initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenge. It also constitutes a major contribution by India to the global effort to meet the challenges of climate change. The objective of the Mission is to establish India as a global leader in solar energy, by creating the policy conditions for its large scale diffusion across the country as quickly as possible. The Mission has adopted a 3-phase approach, spanning the 11th Plan and 1st year of the 12th Plan (up to 2012-13) as Phase 1, the remaining 4 years of the 12th Plan (2013-17) as Phase 2 and the 13th Plan (2017-22) as Phase 3. At the end of each plan period and mid-term during the 12th and 13th Plans, the evaluation of progress, review of capacity and targets for subsequent phases, based on emerging cost and technology trends, both domestic and global, would be undertaken. The Mission has set the target of 20,000 MW of Grid connected and 2000 MW of Off-grid capacity by 2022. Further, the Central Government has revised the target of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects to 100,000 MW by the year 2021-22. This would be achieved through:  

(i) an enabling policy framework;

(ii) large scale deployment goals;

(iii) aggressive research and development (R&D);

(iv) domestic production of critical raw materials, components and products. 

Transforming India into a solar energy hub necessitates a leadership role in low-cost, high quality solar manufacturing, including balance of system components. Solar is currently high on absolute costs compared to other sources of power such as coal. The objective of the Solar Mission is to create conditions, through rapid scale-up of capacity and technological innovation to drive down costs towards grid parity. The Mission envisages achieving grid parity by 2022 and parity with coal-based thermal power by 2030, but recognizes that this cost trajectory will depend upon the scale of global deployment and technology development and transfer. This Mission intends to launch a major R&D  programme in Solar Energy, which will focus on  improving  efficiency  in  existing  applications,  reducing  costs  of  Balance  of Systems,  testing  hybrid  co-generation  and  addressing  constraints  of  variability, space-intensity and lack of convenient and cost-effective storage.

Phase-I focused on capturing of the low hanging options in solar, on promoting off-grid systems to serve populations without access to commercial energy and modest capacity addition in grid-based systems. In Phase-II, it is necessary to build on the achievements of Phase-I to ensure continued success. Witnessing steep fall in tariff discovered under Phase-I, Phase-II is expected to achieve new heights of success as an aggressive capacity ramp-up and creation of favourable conditions for up-scaled and competitive solar energy penetration, both at the centralized and decentralized levels, is targeted. The development of transmission and distribution network to connect areas with high solar potential is imperative. The development of cluster of Solar Parks shall aid further reduction in cost, fair market play would prevail and help in development of technologies.

The importance of this Mission is not just limited to providing large-scale grid connected power. It has the potential to provide significant multipliers in the efforts toward transformation of India's rural economy. Already, in its decentralized and distributed applications, solar energy is beginning to light the lives of millions of India's energy-poor citizens. The rapid spread of solar lighting systems, solar water pumps and other solar power-based rural applications can change the face of India's rural economy. The intent is to significantly expand such applications through this Mission and provide added momentum to the movement for decentralized and disbursed industrialization.

Solar energy is environmentally friendly as it has zero emissions while generating electricity or heat. From an energy security perspective, solar energy is abundantly available. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) also points out that India is a tropical country, where sunshine is available for longer hours per day and in great intensity. It also has the advantage of permitting the decentralized distribution of energy, thereby empowering people at the grassroots level. 

Related links