The cabinet of Maharashtra has approved the state’s new renewable energy policy which envisages addition of 14.4 gigawatts of capacity by 2020.
The break-up of proposed capacity is as follows: solar power (7.5GW); wind power (5 GW); biomass power (1 GW); small-scale hydropower (400 MW); agro-waste-based (300 MW); and industrial-waste-based (200 MW).
And the expected growth should draw an investment of about $640 million and take the share of renewable energy in the state’s energy mix to 15 percent.
Also, the projects would fetch the state about $600 million by way of regulatory fees.
Earlier, the Union government had advised Maharashtra to increase its share of solar power and to upwardly revise its policy to 25 gigawatts within the same period.
However, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis then stated that Maharashtra will develop the entire capacity on its own as state-run utilities did not have the wherewithal to buy all the energy generated. He added that the Centre proposed to either buy the surplus or to allow sale of power in the open market.
Under the currently approved policy, the electricity generated is to be sold through competitive bidding and not based on feed-in tariffs fixed by the state regulatory body. It would give utilities the incentive to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources as they would be offered at the lowest tariffs.
The policy also envisages incentives for project developers. It contains clauses to waive or refund regulatory charges such as electricity duties and power evacuation charges. The policy also allows developers not participating or losing in the bidding process to sell electricity to any other buyer.
Meanwhile, Union minister for science and technology Harsh Vardhan has stated that Maharashtra has surpassed Gujarat in renewable energy projects and received promotional funds of Rs 931 crore from the central government.
The allocation has been made under the 13th finance commission and the central government will continue to support development of renewable energy in the state in future, Vardhan has been quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Vardhan also spoke about a new policy to be framed by the central government targeting 100 gigawatts power generation capacity from non-conventional and renewable energy sources.
Ajith Kumar S