December 29, 2013

Policy to Promote Solar Energy in India

The Energy Department has set up a committee to prepare a draft solar policy to promote the use of solar energy in the State to support development and address the problem of energy security.

The seven-member committee headed by Joint Secretary, Energy department, Sangamjit Nayak will examine the draft policy prepared by the Science and Technology department and solicit opinion of energy experts of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to make necessary changes in the draft policy, official sources said.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, has offered to support the State in formulation of a renewable energy policy with focus on solar and small hydro power.

The draft policy prepared by the Science and Technology department is in line with the National Solar Mission. While the principal objective of the policy is to promote the use of solar energy to support development and address the problem of energy security, the other objectives are productive use of wastelands, providing incentive to solar manufacturing and creation of a research and development hub for solar power technologies.

According to an assessment, the gross renewable energy potential of the State is about 53,820 MW. The policy has introduced several enabling mechanisms to meet this potential.

The State receives an average solar radiation of 5.5 kWh/Sqm area with around 300 clear sunny days every year. The feasible potential for power generation in the solar photovoltaic and the solar thermal routes have been roughly estimated as 8,000 MW and 2,000 MW respectively.

The draft policy allows developers to set up solar power plants of any capacity under the renewable energy certificate (REC) mechanism, for captive consumption, sale outside the State through open access and sale to GRIDCO and DISCOMs on power purchase agreement basis.

The policy mandates tariff based competitive bidding for setting up of solar PV power projects for generation and supply of power to the State grid.

The policy also promotes solar power projects of unlimited capacity under the REC mechanism by independent power producers (IPPs) and the power generated from these power projects will be purchased by GRIDCO/DISCOMs at average pooled power cost (APPC) as determined by the OERC from time to time.

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