In a notable step towards catalysing foreign investments into the expanding Indian Solar energy sector, the Russian Energy Agency(REA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 24th December, 2015.The MoU was signed by Mr. A. V. Tikhonov, Director General (REA), and Dr. Ashvini Kumar, MD (SECI)in the presence of senior-level officials.Under the MoU, the parties have agreed to set up large-scale photovoltaic power plants in India during the years2016-2022. As one of the first stages for realization of the projects, a pilot project of capacity up to 500 MW would be constructed. The parties have proposed to collaborate and cooperate on the basic parameters of project implementation in order toachieve competitive solar tariffs, and have agreed to devise a road-map for development of solar projects and manufacturing facilities.
While REA would be bringing in state-of-the-art technologies, low-cost financing etc. for the projects, SECI would assist in obtaining the required Government clearances and approvals. A working group, consisting of representatives of SECI and REA, would be established for deliberating on the next steps forward.This development, being in-line with the Government of India’s plans for massive scale-up of solar power projects and rationalisation of solar power tariffs, would also give a boost to the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Solar power is an environmentally beneficial and fuel-risk free source of energy,and is seen as an important contributor to India’s future electricity-mix. With the current installed capacity of about 4 GW, solar energy is crucial for lowering of the nation’s carbon intensity to combat Global Warming.