A Parliamentary panel has expressed concerns over slow progress over solar power capacity addition and asked the Renewable Energy Ministry to make sustained efforts and work in mission mode.
“The ministry is far short of their target of 17,000 MW cumulative solar capacity by March 2017, as on December 31, 2016, the cumulative solar power capacity in the country is only 9,012.46 MW i.e. 47 per cent short of the stipulated target,” Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy said in its report tabled in Parliament today.
Earlier in the day, Power, Coal, Mines, New & Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted, “Bright Future: India has crossed 10,000 MW of solar power capacity today. More than 3 times increase in less than 3 years.”
India solar power generation capacity was 2,650 MW on May 26, 2014, when the new government took charge.
The panel said that the ministry should make sustained efforts to find solutions for the constraints being faced in the commissioning of solar projects in consultation with other agencies/ministries concerned in a time bound manner.
It suggested that the ministry should also make efforts to publicise the fiscal and financial incentives available for the promotion of this sector and work in mission mode.
India has set an ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar power generation capacity by 2022 under its renewable energy programme.
The panel said that the ministry has managed to achieve only 2094 MW against the target of 4000 MW wind power capacity addition during the current fiscal with full utilisation of budgetary allocation of Rs 365 crore.
of this target (4000 MW wind power) and feels that more funds should be made available for this sector in view of same capacity addition target for next fiscal.
It said that the ministry should approach Finance Ministry for allocation of more funds for wind power sector.
The panel said that the ministry should take up the matter with Finance Ministry on a urgent basis to ensure continued financial support for the ongoing and future renewable energy projects in the even of National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) being given to states to indemnify them for their losses owing to Good and Services Tax (GST).
The NCEF was created out of cess on coal produced as well as imported at Rs 400 per tonne to provide financial support to clean energy initiatives.
It also said that the ministry should sincerely pursue for a separate fund dedicated to renewable energy projects.
The panel asked the ministry that it should also pursue with GST Council for either excluding renewables from GST regime so as to ensure continuance of exemptions provided to goods used in renewable energy sector or imposing zero per cent (tax) rate on reneweables, so that it does not result in increasing in cost of renewable energy.