Solar gets chunk of allocations for renewable energy
Solar is clearly the darling of the government. The sector has got more than half of the funds allocated for Centrally sponsored renewable energy schemes and project.
‘Solar power’ has been allocated ₹2,045 crore, 54 per cent of the total allocation of ₹3,762 crore for grid-interactive renewable energy schemes and projects. The funds are meant for “development of solar PV projects on canal bank, canal tops, greening of islands, development of solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects, defence solar and rooftop solar schemes,” say the Budget documents.
The wind power sector gets ₹750 crore, or 20 per cent of the funds set aside for grid-interactive RE projects. This “provision will be used for wind power (generation-based incentive) projects, and capacity of 4 GW is likely to be installed during 2018-19,” the Notes on Demands for Grants says.
The Generation-Based Incentive (GBI) scheme, under which registered projects were paid 50 paise for every kWhr of power produced, subject to certain caps, was discontinued last year.
Green energy corridor
However, from the Budget papers, it appears that the government could bring back GBI — something the industry has been asking for. Further, ₹600 crore has been allocated for green energy corridors projects.
The allocation of ₹3,762 crore is lower than the Budget estimate of 2017-18 (₹4,034 crore), but significantly higher than the revised estimate of that year (₹2,631 crore). These numbers also imply that the government ended up spending only 65 per cent of the funds allocated to the government’s RE schemes and projects.
Within this, while the spends for wind exceeded the budget (₹750 crore compared with the budgeted ₹400 crore), solar actually got a lot less (₹1,117 crore versus ₹2,661 crore.)
The Budget for 2018-19 also gives off-grid solar a lot more than last year — ₹848 crore compared with revised estimates of ₹985 crore for 2017-18.