To put the national solar mission on a fast track, the Centre is trying to convince states like West Bengal to set up solar parks by offering viability gap funding. Ministry of New Renewable Energy joint secretary Tarun Kapoor told PTI that the Centre would provide subsidy in the form of viability gap funding to bring down the tariff of solar energy.
“We will offer viability gap funding to the state governments. We will give subsidy to bring down the tariff to Rs 4.5 per unit for the state government. This should encourage state governments to move ahead,” Kapoor said on the sidelines of a CII-organised seminar on concentrating solar thermal technologies. The Centre felt the need for providing VGF to boost solar power in states where generation of solar energy was less viable compared to sun shine states like Rajasthan where tariff had slipped to below Rs 4.5 a unit.
Kapoor said bids would be invited based on the subsidy quantum by bidders who would be offered a tariff of Rs 4.5 a unit plus subsidy in the form of VGF. The latest tariff-based bid totalling 130mw solar PV power has seen the rates to plummet as low as Rs 4.35 a unit. The Centre has set a target of generation of solar power for West Bengal at about 5000MW. The state is in fact not very keen on grid connected solar energy distribution as it is a power surplus state. Bengal wants mega solar projects for specific purpose like feeding 1000 MW Turga pump storage power plant in Purulia.
Meanwhile, the MNRE remains firm on meeting the target of generating one lakh MW of solar PV power by 2022, Kapoor said adding “we ended FY16 with 7,700 MW adding 6,700 MW during the year.” “The target for new capacity this year is 10,000 MW. Average annual target would be around 15,000 MW from next fiscal onwards,” he said.