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The ministry is keen on fostering competition among The ministry is keen on fostering competition among players, particularly in the wind energy space, to bring down tariff and make it a viable source of electricity for consumers. The Global Renewable Energy Investors meet is the worlds largest renewable energy investors gathering to be organised in 2017, Goyal said.

He spoke of launching renewable energy fund under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The ministry has been working on this USD 2-billion fund to make private players invest in the sector. In 2017-18, the government is eyeing 20,450 MW power capacity addition from renewables, including 15,000 (solar), 4,600 MW (wind), 750 MW (biomass) and 100 MW from small hydro power (of up to 25 MW). A total of 7,518 MW of grid-connected power generation capacity from renewable sources has been added this year (January to October 2016). In 2016-17, a total of 1,502 MW capacity has come on board till October-end this year, making a cumulative realisation of 28,279 MW. Now, in terms of wind power installed capacity, India is placed at the 4th rank after China, the US and Germany.

As for solar power, a total of 1,750 MW capacity has been added till October-end this year, making it a cumulative 8,728 MW. After bringing solar tariff to a record low of Rs 3 per unit, the minister indicated making wind power affordable. He said, “There will be a wind auction to transparently reduce the tariff.” The government has planned solar energy from every roof in the country and there will be expansion of rooftop solar programmes next year. It has envisaged 40 GW of solar power from rooftop alone out of the total 100 GW planned to be added by 2022.

This flows from the need to push rooftop solar in a big way against the backdrop of a target of 40 GW grid connected solar rooftops by 2022. So far, about 500 MW of rooftop solar has been installed and about 3,000 MW has been sanctioned for installation.

All major sectors like the Railways, airport, hospitals, educational institutions, government buildings of central, state and PSUs are being targeted, besides the private sector.

A massive Grid Connected Solar Rooftop Programme will be launched with 40 GW target. State Electricity Regulatory Commissions of 30 states/UTs notified regulations for net-metering and feed-in-tariff mechanism. Besides, funding of Rs 5,000 crore was approved for solar rooftops.
A total sanction of USD 1,300 million has been received from the World Bank, KFW, ADB and NDB which will enable SBI, PNB, Canara Bank and IREDA to fund such projects at an interest rate of less than 10 per cent.

The ministry has tied up with ISRO for geo-tagging of all the rooftop plants using ISROs VEDAS portal. To reduce import of solar equipment from other countries, particularly from China, the ministry is keen to encourage domestic production to meet the huge power demand. The minister said there will be focus on Make in India for solar power next year and a scheme to this effect may be launched. The government has also planned launch of founding conference of International Solar Alliance. About use of renewable in farm sector, he said, “We will focus on Prosperous Farmer — Pollution Free India. There will be scheme for Bio-mass like rice husk utilisation next year.” Major programmes such as implementation of solar parks, Solar Defence Scheme, have been launched during the past two years. The increased use of indigenous renewable resources is expected to reduce Indias dependence on expensive imported fossil fuel.

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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