India’s performance in solar energy not encouraging: Parliament Panel
Cautioning that India’s performance in renewable energy areas like solar, small hydro, biogas is not so encouraging, a parliamentary standing committee on Monday said that the government should not act as bystander and adopt more proactive approach to arrange finances for solar power projects. It also said that 40,000 megawatt target of grid connected rooftop solar by 2022 is “unrealistic” and it is “highly unlikely that this target will be achieved”. It suggested that government should give it a “serious relook” at it otherwise it will derail the National Solar Mission target of 100,000 MW by 2022. It also pressed upon government to “urgently formulate” a dedicated programme to establish India as a solar manufacturing hub.
The observations were made by the Lok Sabha’s standing committee on energy—headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kumar Virendra Kumar—which presented its report, ‘National Solar Mission – An Appraisal” to the Parliament on Monday.
“As far as wind is concerned, it is already performing satisfactorily and steps have been taken to provide the desire fillip to this sector…it is presumed that the target set for this sector will be achieved. However, the performance in other sectors of the renewable energy such as solar, small hydro, biomass, biogas etc. is not so encouraging,” said the report. At present, India has a total of 58,303.35MW of renewable power of which 32,508.17MW comes from wind power alone, while solar energy accounts for 13,114.85MW.
“The ministry should not act like a bystander as arrangement for such a huge investment cannot be left to private sector alone. The ministry should play a more proactive role with respect to financial investments like providing access to loans at more favourable rate of interests, introducing green bonds, approaching international donors, arranging finances from green climate fund etc. to achieve the ambitious target of 100GW of solar energy by 2022,” the committee said.
On rooftop solar target of 40GW by 2022, the standing committee recommended that the target be reconsidered. The committee also cautioned about falling solar tariff and observed that per unit price of solar power has dropped from Rs10.95 in December 2010 to Rs2.44 in May 2017. It said that “in a rush to build market share in the sector, some players have become very aggressive in competitive auction and are bidding very low tariff”. It recommended government to impose a “high anti-dumping duty” to discourage import of poor quality material and asked the government to ensure that “some outlying bids do not disturb the market dynamics”.