New Delhi: Northern India, with the potential of about 363 GW of power, can emerge as the hub for renewable energy in the country, said a study released on Friday.
The report titled ‘State Renewable Energy Policies: A Comparative Study’ was released by industry lobby Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
It highlighted that southern and western regions of the country are fast moving up the renewable energy installed capacity graph. The study also stressed that the ecosystem of renewable energy in India is still fraught with constraints, particularly with respect to state policies.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has set an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable power target by 2022.
The CII report said that all northern states have come up with sector-specific policies to promote renewable energy. States that are counted in the northern region are Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Chandigarh.
“These States have dedicated Solar (power) policies. However, very few States have specific policies for small hydro, except Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand, and for wind only Rajasthan has a specific policy," the report said.
“Even though most of the northern States have come up with their renewable energy policies, it is important to understand and imbibe the best incentives and practices depending on the need of the state/region," it added.
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As per the report, the northern region accounts for about 20.49%, which is about 10,247 MW, of the 50,018 MW overall installed capacity of renewable power in India (till 31 December 2016). In comparison, the southern region alone accounts for 43.42% (21,721.42 MW) of India’s total installed renewable power and the western region for 33.7% (16,861 MW).
“All 29 states of India are working relentlessly to make this a success and some major milestones have already been achieved. The northern states, in specific, already have and in the future will play a pivotal role in achieving the renewable energy target set out by the government," the study said.
“The potential of northern region in the renewable space is huge with about 363 GW available to be exploited. Amongst the northern States, Rajasthan has the biggest renewable potential at 145,518 MW and the highest potential in both solar and wind capacities at 142, 310 MW and 5,050 MW respectively," it added.
In terms of renewable potential, Rajasthan is followed by Jammu and Kashmir (118,208 MW), Himachal Pradesh (36,446 MW), Uttar Pradesh (27,593 MW), Uttarakhand (19,071 MW), Punjab (6,768 MW), Haryana (6,470 MW), Delhi (2,181 MW) and Chandigarh (6 MW).
It further emphasised that northern India also has a good potential for small hydro projects with Himachal Pradesh having the second highest small hydro potential in the country after Karnataka.