22 February 2016 | BRIDGE TO INDIA
The MNRE has asked all states to revise their solar policy targets (refer) to make them consistent with the revised Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) target of 8% by 2022, as notified under the revised Tariff Policy published in the Gazette of India on 28th January 2016. States have been asked to submit a ‘State Action Plan 2022’ by second week of March. This plan is expected to include year-wise RPO trajectory and targets for different technologies in each state.
- Several states have already announced state-level targets that are in line with India’s 100 GW target
- Legislative sanction is still missing for National Renewable Energy Act and amendments to Electricity Act but the government is already implementing plans as per the objectives laid out in these policy changes
- By and large, most states seem to be on board with the changes proposed specifically for promotion of solar power
Some states have already revised their targets more or less in line with the country’s 100 GW solar target. This includes states such as Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat and Delhi. Some states including Karnataka and Jharkhand have already announced plans that go beyond the scope of their original policy.
Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Punjab and Odisha are some of the larger states that are all expected to revise their solar targets. Based on RPO targets, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, two of India’s largest power consuming states are expected to add 26% of all solar power in the country by 2022. As they currently account for less than 10% of installed capacity as well as pipeline, both these states are expected to increase the quantum of new allocations significantly in future.
By inviting all states to discuss their individual action plans, the central government hopes to formulate a “National Renewable Energy Plan”, a framework that would seek to create a national, uniform and mandatory renewable purchase obligation (RPO) trajectory for all obligated entities. This was envisaged under the draft National Renewable Energy Act (refer) released in July 2015. As with the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act 2003, the National Renewable Energy Act itself has not yet seen the light of the day but the government is moving in that direction.
By and large, most states seem to be on board with the changes proposed specifically for promotion of solar power. Legislative sanction for these plans is awaited keenly but the current stand-off in the Parliament remains a source of uncertainty.