Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana

News: Prime Minister Modi on January 22 announced the ‘Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana’, a government scheme under which one crore households will get rooftop solar power systems.

Is it the first time such scheme has been launched?
• In 2014, the government launched the Rooftop Solar Programme that aimed to achieve a cumulative installed capacity of 40,000 megawatts (MW) or 40 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 — watt is a unit of power and is calculated as the amount of energy used over time, specifically one Joule per second.
• However, this target couldn’t be achieved. As a result, the government extended the deadline from 2022 to 2026.

What is the Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana?
• Essentially, it is a scheme that will involve installing solar power systems at rooftops for residential consumers.
• The PM cited that the scheme would help not only reduce electricity bills of the “poor and middle class”, but also push India’s goal of becoming self-reliant in the energy sector.

What is India’s current solar capacity?
• According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s website, solar power installed capacity in India has reached around 73.31 GW as of December 2023. Meanwhile, rooftop solar installed capacity is around 11.08 GW as of December 2023.
• In terms of total solar capacity, Rajasthan is at the top with 18.7 GW. Gujarat is at the second position with 10.5 GW.
• When it comes to rooftop solar capacity, Gujarat tops the list with 2.8 GW, followed by Maharashtra by 1.7 GW.
• Notably, solar power has a major share in the country’s current renewable energy capacity, which stands at around 180 GW.

Why is an expansion of solar energy important for India?
• India is expected to witness the largest energy demand growth of any country or region in the world over the next 30 years, according to the latest World Energy Outlook by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
• To meet this demand, the country would need a reliable source of energy and it can’t be just coal plants.
• While India has doubled down on its coal production in recent years, it also aims to reach 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Therefore, it is essential to expand solar power capacity — the country has increased it from less than 10 MW in 2010 to 70.10 GW in 2023, as mentioned before.

What is the Rooftop Solar Programme?
• Launched in 2014, the scheme aims to expand India’s rooftop solar installed capacity in the residential sector by providing Central Financial Assistance — the financial assistance to the eligible projects as per MNRE Guidelines — and incentives to DISCOMs (distribution companies).
• The programme’s goal is to increase rooftop solar installed capacity to 40 GW by March 2026 and it is currently in its second phase. Owing to the scheme, the country’s rooftop solar has increased from 1.8 GW as of March 2019 to 10.4 GW as of November 2023.

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