The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is preparing a database to identify the land available for solar and wind energy projects in the country. Plans are on to introduce location-specific bids to strengthen transmission facilities, said Anand Kumar, secretary, MNRE.
"We are trying to assess the land available for solar and wind projects, and assess how much transmission is available. We would match the available potential with the available transmission, and then augment it accordingly," he said at Green Power 2018, a conference and expo on renewable energy here. MNRE officials visited states, including, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, etc. and are in the process of doing the assessment in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Knowing the availability of land and the potential for renewable energy in the location would help in better bids and improve confidence in investors.
The prices, discovered through the solar and wind power auctions, are globally competitive. The apprehensions that these projects would not be viable have been proved wrong. "The first capacity at Rs 2.44 for solar has been commissioned and the wind project will also be commissioned. Renewable power is making more commercial and economic sense now," he added.
The offshore energy project near Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, is facing protests from the local fishermen. The state should take steps to allay the apprehensions of the fishermen, and help the ministry proceed further.
Policy for repowering and energy banking are in progress. It would be brought out in association with industry and other stakeholders in a month or 45 days. The ministry has also taken up the issue of higher GST at 18 per cent on service contracts. The GST panel is expected to adjudicate on this within the next two weeks. The recommendation to allow exports in the wind energy manufacturing sector would be considered as and when the industry submit its representation, he noted.
Ramesh Kymal, chairman, renewable energy council, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, and CMD, Seimens Gamesa Renewable Power, said that while capacity addition did fall last year, the industry expects a better performance in 2019.