Government’s initiative and Plan to achieve 175 GW+ of Renewable Energy?
India committed in COP21, France that it will try to achieve 40% of total energy mix coming from renewable sources by 2030, as a part of its INDC. This seems very unrealistic to start with, but the government is trying its level best to achieve the same. Let’s have a look at few of the initiatives
- Upscaling of Targets: The Government has up-scaled the target of renewable energy capacity to175 GW by the year 2022 which includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro-power. Stepping up capacity target under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by five times now India is aiming to generate reaching 1,00,000 MW solar power by by 2022. The target will principally comprise of 40 GW Rooftop and 60 GW through Large and Medium Scale Grid Connected Solar Power Projects.
- Solar Cities: The Ministry has approved 56 solar cities projects against the target of 60 solar cities under the Development of Solar Cities Programme. The Government has also approved a Scheme for setting up of 25 Solar Parks, each with the capacity of 500 MW and above and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects to be developed in next 5 years in various States and will require Central Government financial support of Rs 4050 crore. These parks will be able to accommodate over 20,000 MW of solar power projects.As on date, 27 parks with capacity of about 18000 MW in 21 states have been sanctioned.
- Lowest Solar Tariffs: In an e-reverse auction conducted by NTPC on 03.11.2015 for 500 MW (10 projects of 50 MW each) to be set up at Ghani Solar Park in Andhra Pradesh under National Solar Mission, Phase-II, Batch-II, Tranche-I of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Govt. of India, NTPC received the lowest tariff of Rs. 4.63 per unit of electricity.
- Intra state transmission system: The activities envisaged under the project includes establishment of 48 new Grid sub-stations of different voltage levels with total transformation capacity around 17100 MVA (Mega Volt Ampere) by installing over 7800 ckt-kms (Circuit Kilometers) of transmission lines in these seven states. The project is proposed to be completed within a period of three to five years.
- Off-grid Rooftop: It is proposed to set up 40 GW solar rooftop programmes where grid connectivity is already exist. 15% Government subsidy for non-commercial and non-industrial categories for using domestic solar panels would be provided.
- New loan scheme to promote rooftop solar power projects announced by IREDA. The scheme will provide loans at interest rates between 9.9 and 10.75 percent to system aggregators and developers.
- Scheme for Decentralized Generation of Solar Energy Projects by Unemployed Youths & Farmers.It is expected that about 10 GW solar projects would be setup. Innovative Financing of such projects could be possible as equity is being put up by the state, local bodies and entrepreneurs.
- Surya Mitra Scheme launchedfor creating 50,000 trained personnel within a period of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20). The course content has been approved by the National Council of Vocational Training as per the National Skill, Qualification Framework. As on 30.9.2015, a total of 27 programmes involving Rs 17 crore have been sanctioned to SNAs by NISE. In 2015-16, 70 programmes will be conducted against which 27 programmes have started. As on 30.9.2015, about 360 Surya Mitras were trained under the scheme.
- National Offshore Wind Energy Policy, 2015 : Under this Policy, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has been authorized as the Nodal Ministry for use of offshore areas within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the country and the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) has been authorized as the Nodal Agency for development of offshore wind energy in the country and to carry out allocation of offshore wind energy blocks, coordination and allied functions with related ministries and agencies. It would pave the way for offshore wind energy development including, setting up of offshore wind power projects and research and development activities, in waters, in or adjacent to the country, up to the seaward distance of 200 Nautical Miles (EEZ of the country) from the base line. The policy will provide a level playing field to all investors/beneficiaries, domestic and international. It is planned to set up the first offshore wind power project off the Gujarat coast soon.
- Wind Atlas, 2015 Launched: A wind Atlas having information at 100 m height has been launched. It’s a GIS based software tool which will help not only the developers but also policy planners.
- Restoration of Accelerated Depreciation Benefits for Wind Power Projects
- State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) of twenty States have notified regulatory framework on net-metering and feed-in-tariff to encourage rooftop solar plants.
- Inclusion of Renewable Energy Projects in Priority Sector Lending Norms of Commercial Banks:Reserve Bank of India vide its circular dated 23rd April, 2015 on ‘Priority Sector Lending: Targets and Classification’ has issued revised guidelines for all scheduled commercial banks making significant inroads for renewable energy in the priority sector lending. Bank loans up to a limit of Rs 15 crore to borrowers for purposes like solar based power generators, biomass based power generators, wind mills, micro-hydel plants and for non-conventional energy based public utilities viz. street lighting systems, and remote village electrification. For individual households, the loan limit will be Rs 10 lakh per borrower.
- Automatic approval for up to 74% foreign equity participation in a JV. Liberalized foreign investment approval regime. 100% foreign investment as equity is permissible with the approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).
- Amendment in Electricity Act, 2003 (proposed)
- Proposed inclusion of “specific mention of penal provisions for non-compliance of RPO including financial penalty and punishment”.
- Suggested amendment in the tariff policy to include a RPO trajectory reaching at minimum 15 % of the total electricity mix by March 2019 with solar RPO of Minimum 8% and support by states. It implies that there is a special category for solar RPO and other renewable energy sources have been clubbed in non-solar category.
- To allow generating / purchasing and bundling of renewable and allow pass through to such power plants where generation and transmission assets are fully depreciated.
- Draft RE Act 2015: In addition to the existing provisions in the above act. there is a need for a Renewable energy act in India to facilitate increase in the use of renewable energy for all relevant applications including off-grid, heat and transport in an effective and coordinated manner, which is well integrated with the energy and electricity system, and to do so by developing a supportive ecosystem, laying down an institutional structure, and by creating framework for transparent and effective incentive structure. In the given context, increasing the share of RE in the energy mix will require enabling policies to stimulate changes not only in policies related to RE deployment but also in policies related to the planning of the complete energy system. The mandatory provisions after the enactment of Renewable energy Law will provide the requisite backbone framework to facilitate increase in the use of renewable energy.
- INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched an International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the CoP21 Climate Conference in Paris on 30thNovember as a special platform for mutual cooperation among 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
- Establishment of PACE Setter Fund: U.S. and India have signed a MoU to establish PACE Setter Funds with a contribution of US$ 4 million (INR 25 crores) from each side for providing grants for seed capital for innovative clean energy projects.