Promoting business models for increasing penetration and scaling up of solar energy

Promoting business models for increasing penetration
and scaling up of solar energy

              GEF :    
        MNRE :       
      MoMSME :    


UNIDO implements with funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) the project “Promoting business models for increasing penetration and scaling up of solar energy” in India which is aimed at promoting, demonstrating and scaling up the application of concentrated solar thermal (CST) technologies for process heating & cooling in manufacturing sector in India.

The project targets the application of Concentrating Solar thermal technology and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project activities are designed to help removing barriers associated with CST technology, its awareness, capacity building, market and financial barriers. In addition, the project provides technology application information packages and standardization of CST system performance measurement.

The project was during 2015-2021 initially executed through Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) acting as the promotor and administrator of its financial support package. From 2022, the project is executed through the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Mo MSME) to focus specifically on CST applications in MSME manufacturing units in five clusters, respectively: Ankleshwar (chemical in Gujarat); Jorhat (tea in Assam); Medak (pharmaceutical in Telangana); Surat (Textile in Gujarat); and Vellore (rice milling in Tamilnadu).

MSMEs in these clusters require low to medium temperature heat, which potentially can be met through solar process heating using CST technologies. Among the four target states, Gujarat, Telangana and Tamilnadu have favorable high direct normal irradiation (DNI) and high number of sunny days, whereas Assam has lower DNI but relatively high combined direct and diffuse solar radiation that can be captured with non-imagine based CST technology.


The main activities of the project include:

  1. Strengthening of policy and institutional framework for solar energy applications
  2. Technology investment and application: confirmation of technical and financial viability of projects, enhancement of local manufacturing capability for soar energy systems in industrial applications and increased investments in solar energy application in industry through detailed technology application tools (integrated CST with energy storage); detailed project reports (DPRs); selection, installation and demonstration of CST demonstrations; qualified consultants; and case studies.
  3. Scaling up of solar technologies in industrial applications through the development of business models for CST leading to sustained replication of solar thermal applications in industry, quality assurance and certification framework and establishment of financing facility for scale-up.
  4. Awareness raising and capacity building for manufacturers, suppliers and installers, promotion of industry-academic partnership and documentation of project outputs, case studies, best practices and lessons learned.

Expected Impact

The project aims to achieve:

  • 45,000 square meter of CST based systems installed through demonstration projects resulting to 39,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission reduction; and
  • Knowledge documents and standardisation of performance measurement developed with barriers removed for large scale promotion of CST Technology.

It is envisaged that the project will contribute to the mitigation of GHG emissions through the deployment of solar power in industrial applications.

Project Achievements

1. Policy & Institutional Framework

  • CST Roadmaps
  • CST due to diligence guidelines
  • Policy reviews on boiler and budling regulations and CST manufacturing
  • 2. Technology Investment & Application

    • Financial assistance package availed
    • Technology information packages
    • 12 investment level DPRS prepared & promoted (total >40,000m²)
    • 2 CST demonstrations commissioned (577m2), 1 CST demonstration under installation (1,590m²) and 1 CST demonstration abandoned (COVID19 restrictions)

    3. Scale up

    • Mapped quality infrastructure for solar energy in India
    • Promoted and facilitated 13 CST applications in dairy sector (7,809m²)
    • DPRS prepared and promoted for three large scale CST applications

    4. Awareness Raising & Capacity Building

    • 11 state level workshops, 21 industry workshops & 20 site visits, with 1700+ participants
    • Five guest lectures National CST workshop