The Indian government has approved the first phase of the proposed "Solar Mission" under which 20 gigawatts of solar capacity is to be installed by 2022 by which time it is hoped that India will have established itself as a global leader in solar power.
In the first phase, which has now been formally approved, 1,300 megawatts of solar capacity will be installed by March 2013. Of this, 1,000 megawatts is to be grid connected, 200 megawatts is to be off-grid and the remaining 100 megawatt is to be rooftop or other small-scale installations.
The 1,000 megawatts produced by the grid connected installation will be purchased by the National Thermal Power Corp. The government will provide low interest loans for the development of the 200 megawatts off-grid component. Power from the small-scale installations will be purchased by local distribution utilities.
The target for the second phase is to have between 3 and 10 gigawatts of additional capacity installed by 2017, depending on international financing and technology transfer arrangements.
If the first two phases are successful, the installed capacity will be increased to 20 gigawatts by 2022, by which time the government believes that solar power will be competitive with power from other sources. Parity with cheap coal-fired power should be achieved by 2030, if solar technology is developed and deployed as anticipated.