The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set a
target of adding 20,450 MW of grid-connected renewable energy capacity in the financial
year 2017-18. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Piyush Goyal, the
Minister for Power, stated that
14,300 MW of renewable energy has been connected to the grid in the last two
and half years. The Minister also disclosed new targets set by MNRE for the coming
The Minister further noted the various incentives and
programs undertaken by the MNRE and Ministry of Power to calm developers’ fears and make growth in renewable
energy sector sustainable; these include:
- Amendments in the National Tariff Policy for
strong enforcement of Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) and for providing
Renewable Generation Obligation (RGO).
- Setting up exclusive solar parks.
- Development of power transmission network
through Green Energy Corridor project. The MNRE has directed
the Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) to undertake strengthening of the
grid and transmission infrastructure in the country.
- Identification of large government complexes/buildings
for rooftop projects. To spur rooftop installations on government buildings,
the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has laid out an incentive program in place for developers based
on project completion status.
- Provision of rooftop solar and 10 percent
renewable energy as mandatory under Mission Statement and Guidelines for
development of smart cities.
- Amendments in building bye-laws for mandatory
provision of rooftop solar for new construction.
- Infrastructure status for solar projects.
- Raising tax free solar bonds.
- Making roof top solar a part of housing loan by
banks/National Housing Bank (NHB).
- Incorporating measures in Integrated Power
Development Scheme (IPDS) for encouraging distribution companies and making
- Raising funds from bilateral and international
donors as also from the Green Climate Fund to achieve the target.
- Creation of Surya Mitra Skill
Development Program for installation and maintenance of the solar projects.
Mercom had previously reported that cumulative solar
installations in India have reached 8,728 MW as of the end of October 2016 with
MW commissioned in the current financial year, until October.
This year the achievable target looks challenging as the
renewable energy sector is facing issues and inconsistencies including; insufficient
transmission infrastructure, curtailment, and poor financial health of
distribution companies (DISCOMs) leading to delayed payments to developers.
An official at MNRE said, “the
target fixed for the coming years is not improbable, the MNRE will come up with
incentives and once the GST comes into force, developers will find projects becoming viable. The transmission network is set for a
The official added that, the DISCOMs will start to recover
now as the effect of Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) program will start
showing coupled with an upgraded
transmission network, power losses will be curtailed.
According to Mercom’s India Quarterly Report, banks
and financial institutions have allotted about Rs.788
billion (~$11.8 billion) in funding for clean energy projects, of which Rs.335 billion (~$5 billion) have been
released as of the end of March 2016. Twenty-three public sector and seven
private sector banks, along with four public sector and two private sector
non-banking financing companies (NBFCs) have committed to finance 76.3 GW of
renewable energy projects totaling Rs.3,820
billion (~$57 billion) over five years through green commitment certificates.