Pradeep Chakraborty

The Union Government of India is on its way to achieving the 175 GW target for installed renewable energy capacity by 2022. By November 2017, a total of 62 GW renewable power had been installed, of which 27 GW were installed since May 2014, and 11.79 GW since January 2017.

India is said to have achieved historic low tariffs for solar (Rs. 2.44/ unit) and wind (Rs. 2.64/ unit) through transparent bidding and facilitation. India also attained global 4th and 6th position in global Wind and Solar Power installed capacity.

Now, India has laid down an ambitious bidding trajectory for 100 GW capacity of solar energy and 60 GW capacity of wind over the next three years.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken several steps toward a clean energy future for the ‘New India’. The government is aiming to increase the share of clean energy through massive thrust in renewables. Core drivers for development and deployment of new and renewable energy in India have been energy security, electricity shortages, energy access, climate change, etc.

A capacity addition of 27.07 GW of renewable energy has been reported during the last three and half years under the Grid Connected Renewable Power, which include 12.87 GW from Solar Power, 11.70 GW from Wind Power, 0.59 from Small Hydro Power and 0.79 from Bio-power.  Renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost-competitive as compared to fossil fuel-based generation.

To achieve the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022, the major programmes/ schemes on implementation of solar park, solar roof top scheme, solar defence scheme, solar scheme for CPUs, solar PV power plants on canal bank and canal tops, solar pump, solar rooftop, etc., have been launched during the last two years. Various policy measures have been initiated and special steps taken in addition to providing financial support to various schemes being implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) for achieving the target of renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022.

The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd (IREDA) and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd (RUMSL) have recently signed an agreement for financing the shared infrastructure of two solar parks in in Madhya Pradesh. These are coming up in Rewa, with capacity of 750 MW, and Mandsaur, with capacity of 250 MW.

MNRE, World Bank and IREDA have been able to work out a proposal to channelize US$ 100 million for creating common infrastructure for ultra-mega solar parks in India to achieve 100 GW solar capacity addition target by 2022. Under the World Bank Line of Credit, IREDA has sanctioned its first loan of Rs. 210.62 crore to RUMSL to finance two solar parks in Madhya Pradesh.

KS Popli, CMD, IREDA appreciated the MNRE’s initiative, support of The World Bank and of DEA to reduce the sovereign guarantee fee to 0.5 percent. This support from DEA will enable to expedite development of such proposals in other states as well.

Upendra Tripathy, Interim director general, ISA, added that there is an immediate attention for the development of 121 projects of solar technologies in 121 ISA member countries by April 21, 2018.

Manu Srivastava, Principal secretary and MD, RUMSL said RUMSL is implementing two solar parks — With the solar park model, Payment Security Mechanism and the Line of Credit from The World Bank, the tariff for Rewa project is as low as Rs.3.30 on levelized basis.

Out of the total power proposed to be generated at Rewa solar park,  24 percent has been agreed to be purchased by Delhi Metro Rail Corp. (DMRC) and balance 76 percent by Madhya Pradesh Power Management Co. Ltd ( MPPMCL).

Elsewhere, the Union Cabinet of Ministers, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, was apprised of an MoU between India and Italy on renewable energy co-operation. India and Italy aim to establish the basis for a co-operative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical and bilateral co-operation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.

The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. It aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information and helps in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Next, Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, in a written reply on steps taken by Government to explore the solar micro grid model in the country, informed the Lok Sabha that under the solar off-grid and decentralized applications programme, 63 solar micro grids of 1899 kWp aggregated capacity have so far been reported to be installed in the country. This programme has financial support from the MNRE.