It's Finally Official - India's National Solar Mission Aims for 20 Gigawatts Solar Power by 2022

sun behind clouds photo

photo: Ryan D'Souza via flickr.

Rumors and draft reports have been circulating about India's National Solar Mission plan since early summer, but the program has finally been officially announced. Approved just in time for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit with President Obama, the plan aims for 20 gigawatts on solar power capacity by 2022:Greenpeace has already done some quick calculations (probably had them done months ago, truth be told) and estimates that the NSM, part of National Action Plan on Climate Change, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12-18%, with annual reductions of 434 million tons of CO2 avoided annually through 2050, provided that the solar power actually displaced fossil fuel-generated electricity.

Siddharth Pathak, Climate and Energy Policy officer for Greenpeace India praised the announcement,

With the release of the NSM, the Indian Government has categorically shown that is is acting on climate change and moving away from a carbon-intensive, business-as-usual scenario. This puts pressure on the developed countries to commit and put their GHG emission reduction targets at Copenhagen.

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