Centre plans to double capacity of solar parks

index.jpgSource: The Hindu Business Line, Sept 07, 2016

New Delhi: The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy will soon seek the Union Cabinet’s nod for doubling the capacity of solar parks to 40,000 MW from 20,000 MW approved in December 2014.

“The government has taken several measures to promote renewable energy. We have already seen an eight-fold increase in the clean energy cess on coal, we are now planning to scale up our solar parks. We will seek Cabinet approval soon for scaling up the solar park programme to 40,000 MW as against 20,000 MW that was approved earlier,” said Upendra Tripathi, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, while inaugurating the 10th Renewable Energy India Expo on Wednesday.

Solar parks provide integrated infrastructure for utility-scale solar power plant developers to set up their generation units. These parks are also connected to the grid which eliminates any concerns on evacuation of the solar power that is generated.

Tripathi also said that the Ministry will soon start tariff-based auctioning of wind power capacity. Similar auctioning in solar power has seen a drastic drop in tariffs.

“Nearly 1,000 MW of wind power capacity will be put for auction in the next one month. This year we expect 4,000 MW of wind power capacity to be set up. If we need to auction more capacity,” he said.

Wind map of IndiTo facilitate this, the Ministry has already prepared a wind map of India to identify the locations with high potential of wind energy. Further, the Ministry is also undertaking a pilot project to develop hybrid wind and solar power plants in Telangana.

The three-day Renewable Energy India Expo will witness participation from exhibitors of 40 countries. A total of 650 exhibitors will be showcasing their technologies.

Tripathi, who is also the Interim Director General of the International Solar Alliance, said that the international body is in talks with stakeholders and event managers to host such exhibitions and investor meets to promote development of new technology.

He urged the gathering to focus on bringing down the cost of electricity storage.

“If the likes of Elon Musk (founder of Tesla Motors) are successful in bringing down the cost of electricity storage, it will be a big boost to India’s solar programme,” he added.

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