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NEW DELHI: The government is aggressively accelerating the solar energy program, and aiming for four giant plants of 1,000 Mw each. It also wants to bundle solar and conventional power to make renewable energy more affordable.

Giant solar projects may be put up quickly in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as the new government is keen to promote this source of renewable energy.

To achieve the target of commissioning of 20,000 Mw of solar power generation capacity ahead of targeted 2022, the government may redesign Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission while the scope of the Electricity Act 2003 may also expanded to push for higher utilisation of renewable energy. India has commissioned 2,650 Mw of solar power generation capacity, which is dominated by Gujarat with close to 1,000 Mw.

Besides promoting four large projects with over 500 Mw of installed capacity each, the government wants to move forward to eliminate bottlenecks for ongoing capacity addition program for solar power.

To deal with delays in larger projects, the government has surveyed several sites and cities to assess the potential and viability of solar power in the country that receives adequate radiation during its 300 days of sunny days a year.

Piyush Goyal, minister responsible for three key energy portfolios — power, renewable energy and coal — held meetings with officers from the relevant departments and institutions recently. He assessed the progress of solar power projects and directed officers to facilitate the development to set and achieve higher targets in next phases of the Mission.

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