Indian Government unveils new guidelines for off-grid solar PV

Under the mission, the targets for the applications are: 200 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity by 2013; 1,000 MW by 2017; and 2,000 MW by 2022. This step, says the Ministry, “signifies a major effort by India to combat climate change”.

Various off-grid systems up to a maximum of 100 kWp per site and mini grids of up to 250 kilowatts for village electrification will also be supported. The Government will additionally offer financial support in the form of 30 per cent subsidy for a basic system and/or five per cent interest bearing loans for civil works and instrumentation, etc.

For 2010-11, the benchmark price for photovoltaic systems with battery back up is INR 300 per Wp, and INR 210 per Wp for systems with non-storage battery, such as water pump systems. Capital subsidy of 90 per cent of the benchmark cost would be available for special category States lying in border areas and hilly terrains.

Investment will come from various “multi-channel partners” including the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, various banks, financial institutions and renewable energy service companies, among others.

The news comes after the introduction of the country’s National Solar Mission by the Honorable Prime Minister of India this January.