The Gujarat Government maintains that the state has been leading the renewable energy sector, but the latest numbers emerging from the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit since 2003 do not support the claims.
Official figures state that of the total 559 Memorandums of Understanding for investment in the renewable energy sector since the first summit in 2003 till 2017, 55 per cent or 307 projects were dropped.
Of the total proposed investment of Rs 5,48,461.59 crore from this, the actual investment was Rs 40,344.75, which makes it 7.35 per cent.
The proposed employment of over 1.92 lakh from these projects actually yielded only 12,343 jobs or 6.4 per cent.
The data released by the state energy department said in all 105 projects were commissioned and 25 are under implementation, while 122 projects are in the preliminary stages.
The figures also show that out of the total proposed generation capacity of 58,837.574 megawatt (MW) only 686 0.84 MW has been commissioned.
However, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Raj Gopal had a different take during a press conference ahead of the three-day investment summit beginning January 18.
“Since the first Vibrant Gujarat in 2003, more than 100 large investments have fructified in Gujarat in the renewable energy sector with investments of over Rs 40,000 crore,” he said.
“Gujarat has taken a lead and remained a pioneer in the sector. India’s first offshore wind energy project of 1,000 MW has been planned in the Gulf of Khambhat, off the coast of Gujarat, and we have received tremendous interest.
“India is ranked second in the renewable energy attractiveness index 2017 and is set to become the third largest renewable energy producer in the world by 2022.”
He said Gujarat was the second largest producer of wind power in the country and accounts for 8% of India’s total installed solar power capacity. “The state has immense potential for generation of renewable energy with an estimated figure of over 100 GW.”
The Vibrant Gujarat Summit over the years has received a lot of flak from the Opposition which calls it sheer propaganda.
(Amit Cowper can be contacted at email@example.com)