Solar power plants without grid connection are known as Off-grid solar plants. Such power plants are crucial in remote regions where grid connection is not available. In a country like India where grid connectivity is often a mirage in remote villages, off-grid solar plants can provide electricity. The Government of India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) on 11th January, 2010 with a target to install solar power generation capacity of 20 GW by 2022. This target is expected to be achieved through large-scale grid connected solar power projects and off-grid solar power projects.
To promote off grid solar power applications, the mission has put forward a target of reaching 200 MW by 2012-13, 1000 MW by 2017 and 2000 MW by 2022. The detailed targets for solar installations are given in the table below;
Phase 1 (2012-13)
Phase 2 (2013-17)
Phase 3 (2017-22)
Off grid solar
Grid connected solar including rooftop solar PV projects
JNNSM encourages off grid solar system with a focus on decentralized systems and hybrid systems to meet supplementary lighting and other energy requirements. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is providing financial help to the off-grid solar projects through its capital subsidy scheme. The scheme provides partial subsidy and interest bearing loans to the project developer. Various off-grid solar PV systems up to a maximum capacity of 100 kWp (Kilowatt peak) per site are eligible for being covered under the scheme and can avail 30% subsidy of the total project cost (Please click here to know more on MNRE Capital Subsidy Scheme).
As per the data made publically available by MNRE and PIB, the total funds of Rs. 39,910 lakh (One lakh = 0.1 Million) have been released to various states during 2012-13 under the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar Application Scheme. The state of Chhatisgadh is leading in receiving the highest amount of funds (Rs. 5,280 lakh) followed by Rajasthan (Rs. 3,890 lakh), Jammu and Kashmir (Rs. 3,361 lakh), Uttar Pradesh (Rs. 2,675 lakh) and Manipur (Rs. 1,483 lakh). In addition, funds released to CEL, REIL, NABRD, RRBS, various NGOs and system integrators is around Rs. 17,526 lakh.
Following graphs shows state-wise funds released during 2012-13 under the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar Application Scheme;
Shailesh is post graduate in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun, India. Presently he is working in the areas of Environmental and Renewable Energy Advisory Services. He has started GreenCleanGuide.com during his college days.