24 November 2017

The Government today announced the trajectory for achieving its targets of commissioning 175 GW of Renewable Energy (RE), 100 GW of solar generating capacity and 60 GW of wind power, by 2022.    

Addressing the gathering, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy , Shri Raj Kumar Singh said that there was a long pending demand form the Industry to declare the RE roadmap of the Government. Hence, today with the declaration of this trajectory, the Government has clearly spelt out its plan of speeding up of RE installation in the country and strengthening the RE manufacturing base in India. 

Shri Singh informed that to encourage the Make in India in RE sector, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is working out the scheme and going to issue an Expression of Interest (EoI) to the Industry, for establishing domestic Manufacturing facilities to the tune of 20GW, in the near future. Further, the MNRE is exploring innovative ways to achieve additional installed RE capacity through Floating Solar Power Plants over dams , Offshore Wind Energy Systems and Hybrid Solar-Wind power systems, which may provide over 10GW additional capacity. The MNRE team of experts has already surveyed the Bhakra Nangal dam for floating solar power plants and off-shore Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for wind power plants, the Minister added. 

Expressing confidence of comfortably achieving a rather conservative RE target of 175GW by 2022 and even exceed it, along with providing 24x7 affordable, clean and efficient power for all, Shri Singh said that all these targets would be positively achieved with the cooperation of the States in ensuring that their power utilities/ DISCOMS remain financially viable. The Centre has provided all the required support, including funds under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), to the States to ensure 24x7 Power for All by strengthening the intra-State transmission networks and by ensuring mandatory presence of metered connections. The Ministry is in talks with the States to ensure 100% metered connections through Smart/Pre-paid meters, Shri Singh added. 

Talking about issues in Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), Shri Singh made it very clear that the sanctity of the PPAs have to be ensured and they would have to be mandatorily honoured. The Ministry is in constant talks with State Governments, including Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, to ensure the same. Talking about the Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPOs), the Minister that these obligations are mandatory and need to be adhered to strictly. 

Elaborating the RE Development road map , Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary MNRE, said that for achieving 100 GW solar power target by 2022, the Ministry, along with the States, would lay out bids for ground mounted solar parks for 20 GW in 2017-18, out of which 3.6 GW have already been bid out, 3 GW will be bid out in December 2017, 3 GW will be bid out in January 2018, 5 GW in February 2018 and 6 GW in March 2018.  30 GW will be bid out in 2018-19 and 30 GW in 2019-20.  

Further, Shri Kumar informed that against the target of 60 GW for wind power, 32 GW have already been commissioned.   The Central Government in participation with the State Governments intends to issue bids of cumulative capacity of about 8 GW this year. Out of this, 5 GW (including present 2 GW) have already been bid out, 1500-2000 MW will be bid out in January 2018 and 1500-2000 MW in March 2018. A total of 10 GW will be bid out in the financial year 2018 and 10 GW in 2019, leaving a margin of 2 years for commissioning of projects. Further adding to this, Shri Kumar informed that the Ministry would soon be issuing the Wind Bidding Guidelines. 

Shri Kumar also said that with wind power tariffs becoming competitive and State DISCOMs encouraged to buy more of Renewable Energy power, the Government has doubled the auction capacity for the third national level wind auction from 4GW last year to around 9GW in the current year. Regarding clarity on GST rates on Solar panels, Shri Kumar said that the MNRE is in talks with the Ministry of Finance and in the next 7-10 days all the issues would be resolved. 

The present scheme of Wind Power Auction is for setting up of 2000 MW Wind Power Project connected to Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS). The bidder can bid for a minimum capacity of 50 MW and maximum up to 400 MW.  The projects under this scheme are expected to be commissioned towards the end of 2019.  

On the occasion, Power Sale Agreements (PSA) for purchase of wind power under second wind auction with States were also signed with Solar Energy Corporation of India with utilities of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Punjab, Goa and Odisha. The reverse auction for SECI-II wind bid was conducted on 4th October 2017, which resulted in very competitive tariff of Rs.2.64/2.65 per unit.   

  It may be mentioned that the winners of SECI II wind bid namely Renew Power (250 MW at Rs.2.64/unit), Orange (200 MW at Rs.2.64/unit), Inox (250 MW at Rs.2.65/unit), Green Infra (250 MW at Rs.2.65/unit) and Adani Green (50 MW at Rs.2.65/ unit) would be setting up wind power plants in states of Gujarat, TN and MP to sell power to these utilities.  PPAs with these winners are expected to be signed shortly.   

Source: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India

Illustration Photo: Wind farm (CC0 Creative Commons from Pixabay.com)

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