Nuclear scientist to head India’s solar programme
Anil Kakodkar has been unveiled as chairman of the recently launched Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a speech to the Indian Science Congress.
Kakodka is a member of the Atomic Energy Commission and previously led India's nuclear programme. His appointment is likely to prove controversial as he is on record as saying that that developing nuclear energy should be the India's main energy policy since renewables can only do so much to address climate change.
The SECI has been created to act as the not-for profit corporation executing arm of India's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), under the administrative control of the New and Renewable Energy Ministry (NREM).
In his new role, Kakodkar will be responsible for stepping up the JNNSM. Although still in its infancy, its organisation has already come under fire from both project developers and politicians.
Earlier this week the India Parliament's Standing Committee on Energy labelled the NREM's approach to the JNNSM as "disappointing" and "lackadaisical". This followed on from disappointing end-of-year installation figures which showed just 400-MW of solar power had been connected to the grid, against a government forecast of the 1.2-GW.