Noting that these valleys would become hubs for solar science, engineering and research and fabrication and manufacturing, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged the industry to see the mission as a huge business opportunity. He hoped that the mission would also establish India as a global leader in solar energy, not just in power generation but in manufacturing and technology.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday called for creation of “solar valleys” in India, akin to silicon valleys, as a contribution to the national as well as global efforts at combating climate change.

Launching the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission or ‘Solar India,’ Dr. Singh said its success could transform India’s energy prospects.

Industry’s role critical

Terming the industry’s role in the mission critical, he said the mission planned to create an installed capacity of 20,000 MW by the end of the 13th Plan. “If the mission is to become a reality, we will have to create many solar valleys on the lines of Silicon Valleys that are spurring our IT industry across the country,” Dr. Singh said. He was addressing about 900 delegates at the Solar Energy Conclave 2010, organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Noting that these valleys would become hubs for solar science, engineering and research and fabrication and manufacturing, he urged the industry to see the mission as a huge business opportunity.

Referring to Jawarharlal Nehru’s vision of creating world class capabilities in atomic energy and space sciences, Dr. Singh said it was these strengths that brought about the IT revolution and made India a global player. “I am convinced that solar energy can be the next scientific and industrial frontier in India after atomic energy, space and IT.”

Though the mission’s target of 20,000 MW was ambitious, it was achievable. The various Ministries and authorities would have to work in tandem to make it a success.

He hoped that the mission would also establish India as a global leader in solar energy, not just in power generation but in manufacturing and technology.

“We intend to significantly expand various solar applications through the mission. The regulatory and incentive framework would encourage technological innovation and generate economies of scale and lead to a steady lowering of costs.”

Union Minister for Agriculture Sharad Pawar, Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah and Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh were present.

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