The emerging contours of the JNNSM Phase 2

The much anticipated policy for the Phase 2 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission(JNNSM) by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) is expected to be released in December 2013. Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary of MNRE, announced this during the opening ceremony of the Intersolar India 2012 conference on 5th November 2012. According to him, some of the highlights of the Phase 2 will be
a. JNNSM Target for Phase 2 – 10, 000 MW in the next 5 years(2012-2017)
b. Renewable Purchase Obligations(RPO) will lead to an addition of 30,000 MW of solar by 2022. (The RPO currently is 0.25% which will progressively increase to 3% by 2022)
c. Major focus areas in Phase 2
Off-grid initiatives : This includes increasing the penetration of PV based applications like agricultural water pumps, lighting systems and thermal applications like solar water heaters.
One of the significant initiatives could be the increase in the subsidy limit for off-grid systems. For example, the limit could be raised to 3 kWp for individuals from the current limit of 1 kWp. Similarly, the limit for non-commercial entities could be increased from the current limit of 100 kWp
Grid connected rooftop PV systems : RESCOs(Renewable Energy Service Providing Companies – those companies that install, own & operate RE systems and provide energy services to consumers) will be encouraged in this segment. The RESCOs might operate under  pay-as-you-go/ Build-Own-Operate-Trasfer(BOOT) models.The project owners can avail tax benefits like Accelerated Depreciation(AD) in addition to the 30% capital subsidy(which is available for both off-grid and grid-tied systems upto 100 kWp). A combination of these two incentives can bring down payback periods significantly.
Diesel Replacement : MNRE places huge emphasis on the replacement of diesel in telecom towers, industries and commercial establishments that use diesel gensets as a backup.
d. Financing the Phase 2 : Mr. Kapoor mentioned that MNRE will resort to a mix of mechanisms to finance the Phase 2 of the Mission. It will include Generation-Based-Incentives, Viability Gap Funding and also bundling of solar power with conventional power as done during the Phase 1 of the mission.
Mr. Kapoor spoke on the same subject a couple of days later at the Renewable Energy India 2012 Expo and re-inforced the points. His interview to the Hindu Businessline can be found here. The long wait for the policy seems to be getting over.