Centre calls national review meet to push clean energy projects
New Delhi: Removing squatters from good wind potential sites, inordinate delays in signing of power purchase agreements, timely payments and distribution firms shying away from procuring electricity generated from wind energy projects will be some of the issues that the National Democratic Alliance-led Narendra Modi government plans to discuss at an apex meeting of states and the nodal agencies for ironing out issues plaguing the green energy sector.
The meeting called on 23 and 24 January is scheduled to be attended by top officials from the states and the Centre involved in helping India achieve its clean energy commitments.
Some of the other issues on the agenda for the meeting, available on the website of the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) inlcude; proper scheduling and forecasting of wind energy, availability of transmission facilities and rationalisation of transmission tariffs for wind energy projects.
Under the topic Issues for Discussion with States, the agenda states, “Many of good potential sites have been blocked/squatted in some windy states by individuals/organizations for extended periods in the name of wind resource assessment or project development.”
“States are requested to assess such sites blocked in the state and issue notice for last opportunity to develop the project within a time frame.In case on non-compliance of time lines, the site should be evicted for fresh allocations. Further, future allocation of land should be in transparent process with strictly adherence to the given time line,” the note adds.
In India, which is the biggest greenhouse gas emitter after the US and China, renewable energy currently accounts for 15%, or 45,917 MW, of the total installed capacity of 3,10,005 MW. Of this wind energy projects alone account for 28,083 MW.
Experts believe that while wind energy sector had met with early success, it has been facing many an impediments.
“The Centre and the states have worked closely to ensure unprecedented renewable capacity addition. The National Review Meeting is a good initiative—issues like land acquisition for projects outside solar parks or back-downs should also get resolved soon with initiatives like these from MNRE,” said Srishti Ahuja, director, at consulting firm EY.
This comes in the backdrop of India achieving only around 19% of the targeted 12,000 MW solar power in 2016-17 till now (31 December 2016).
“It has been reported by the wind industry that some state discoms are not making timely payment to the wind power generators. The delay is more than six months and in some cases it is more than one year. This creates serious problems for developers to maintain their cashflow as they also have to pay-back towards loan liability in time. This also hampers the confidence of banks/financial institutions in funding the wind power projects,” according to the agenda note.
Some of the marquee schemes to help India emerge as a clean energy champion include the national solar mission, solar parks, rooftop solar projects, biomass, biogas and small hydro programme.
India plans to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 as part of its climate commitments.