Indian Economy News

Rs 1.2 lakh crore solar plan in progress for jobless tech grads, MBAs

New Delhi: The government is working on a Rs 1.2 lakh crore scheme to set up 20,000 mw solar power projects, or a fifth of the total solar power capacity envisaged by 2021-22, through qualified unemployed or under-employed youth in the next five years.

Government sources told TOI the scheme is part of the government's design to ramp up solar power capacity to 100,000 mw by 2021-22. The Centre is to extend an assistance of Rs 16,050 crore to help keep power tariff from solar plants set up under this scheme affordable for state utilities.

Those who have a B.Tech, MBA or M.Com degree, are not older than 35 years, but either do not have a job or are under-employed, would be eligible for getting a project under the scheme. They can apply for a project either on their own or in partnership with companies and societies.

This is how the scheme is supposed to function. State governments willing to join the scheme approach the renewable energy ministry outlining how much capacity is left in their grid for handling solar power. The spare capacity is to be identified at the level of sub-stations, or points that would receive power from the solar plants.

The projects are then allocated on the basis of spare capacity or demand indicated by each state. The states then invite application from eligible developers, with first priority to unemployed youth. Village panchayats or municipal bodies get the next preference.

In case any leftover capacity is to be allotted to independent power producers, unemployed youth must hold more than 26 per cent but less than 51 per cent equity in such a company or organization. The unemployed youth would get to share revenue earned from the solar project in proportion to their holding in the company or organization.

Each solar project is to be dedicated to a sub-station. The spare capacity identified in each sub-station would decide the size of its solar power project. The state utilities would notify the tariff, factoring in the central assistance, and give each solar plant a 25-year PPA (power purchase agreement) to ensure project viability.

Solar Energy Corporation of India under the renewable energy ministry would act as the nodal agency, as in case of projects to set up mega solar power projects, for handling the funds and to provide any assistance. The entity would get a fees for this work, which would be 1 per cent of the funds handled.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.