Renewable energy players red-flag a host of issues plaguing sector, seek govt intervention

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on May 07, 2019 Published on May 07, 2019

Outcome of brainstorming meet held by MNRE to form the base for policy tweaks

Players in the country’s renewable energy sector have collectively red-flagged delays in land acquisition, ramping down of power and transmission constraints among other issues at the first ‘Chintan Baithak’ called by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

“The outcome of this meeting will form the bedrock for policy changes that will be highlighted before the coming government to help boost the renewable energy sector,” an MNRE official conducting the stakeholder discussion told BusinessLine. Last Tuesday, MNRE Secretary Anand Kumar tweeted that a ‘Chintan Baithak’ (a brainstorming session) is being held with all stakeholders to review the progress made in the sector so far and to deliberate upon new and innovative ideas for catalysing the growth of this sector.

Payment issues

Stakeholders present in the meeting said that the age-old issues plaguing the clean energy sector were reiterated before the Secretary.

“The wind energy sector is worried about lower capacity utilisation of domestic manufacturing facilities and a dearth of projects being bid out for setting up generation capacity. While capacity addition in the solar sector has grown by over 10 times from 2014 levels, the growth of wind is hardly 1.5 times,” an official with a private consultancy firm said. “The issue of delayed payments by power distribution companies (discoms) was red-flagged at the meeting. There is a need for having a more robust payment assurance method as the delays are seriously impacting the project viability,” an official at a private solar project developer said.

Clean energy players also said that since most the new power generation capacity is coming from renewable sources, the MNRE should take up more responsibility for earmarking transmission projects.

Capacity addition

“It is estimated that by 2030, the country will see 863 GW of installed power generation capacity. Of this, hydro, wind, solar and biomass will contribute 567 GW to the energy mix. Effectively, more than half of India’s power generation capacity will come from new renewable energy projects. To ensure adequate evacuation facilities for these, the MNRE must start allocating dedicated transmission projects too,” a renewable energy player said.

Published on May 07, 2019

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