Government is committed to manage renewable energy curtailment and enhance ease of doing business

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By Solar Times Bureau

Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, Union Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has said that the Government is committed to managing curtailments to enhance the ease of doing business for developers in the renewable energy sector. Speaking at the session on Renewables in India at the India Pavilion, on the sidelines of Madrid Climate Conference (CoP25) at  Madrid, Spain late yesterday,  he added that Regional Energy Management Centres (REMCs) to support the increasing share of renewable is being increased. Shri Kumar further said, “Payment Security Mechanism to de-risk investments in renewable have been put in place.  On the demand side, the Ministry is working with farmers and Commercial & Industrial (C&I) consumers to embed them into the renewables value chain as direct stakeholders.”

Shri Kumar also stated that the Government of India is confident of meeting its target of 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 and increasing it to 450GW over time. He informed that India’s current capacity is 83GW , and additional 70 GW capacity is under fruition. He  stated that Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) aims to bid out the balance capacities for solar and wind by June 2020, giving developers 30 months to complete deployment.

Shri Anand Kumar underlined the need for catalysing  private investment and expand India’s clean energy market through innovative risk mitigation and aggregation instruments. He stated that the additional investments in renewable up to year 2022 would be about $80 billion at today’s prices and an investment of around $300 billion would be required upto 2030. He informed about  the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) ‘s ‘green window’ initiative to attract private capital to the under-served segments of the market.  Top contenders for the green window include storage, electric mobility, distributed renewables and energy efficiency. He also informed that IREDA is launching its own Alternate Investment Fund  to recycle its capital by attracting insurance, pension funds etc., with the aim to deepen the bond market, and in turn, allow the projects to directly link with public funds.

He detailed the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan. Mahabhiyan (PM- KUSUM) Scheme for farmers to install solar pumps and grid connected renewable power plants, targeting 26GW capacity and 1.7 million farmers by 2022. KUSUM aims to provide a stable, continuous and long-term source of income to rural landowners; advantages include decentralised local clean power for rural load centres and agriculture pump-sets, enabling energy access without adding grid load; reduced transmission losses; less use of expensive and polluting diesel-powered pumps, and a reliable source of irrigation.

Shri Manu Srivastava, Principal Secretary, New and Renewable Energy Dept, Government of Madhya Pradesh, said that to maintain investor confidence in India’s renewables sector, “we need to make the projects bankable and viable, resolve the uncertainties the projects may have in terms of their bidders and bankers, keep processes transparent, and create ownership among all stakeholders.

Mr Juan Carlos Olmedo, President, Board of Directors, Coordinador Eléctrico Nacional, Chile asserted that in the increasingly interconnected world, India’s vision of ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ holds special meaning, as countries such as Chile, which are rich in renewables, will now get the opportunity to enter the global energy market.

Experts from IRENA, the International Energy Agency, German development bank KfW, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the India Smart Grid Forum, emphasised the importance of flexibility in policy, financing, manufacturing, pricing, technology, storage and services in rapidly scaling up renewables. Global energy major Acciona outlined solutions to decarbonise electrical systems, while Indian conglomerate Dalmia Bharat Cement noted that clean energy systems must become integral to the business strategies of large corporates as well as their supply networks to remain competitive amidst the ongoing energy transition.

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