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Renewable energy projects in limbo for want of funds

Projects totalling Rs 30,000 crore await disbursal of funds

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 

Renewable energy projects to be financed by the central government could hit the wall, as not a penny has been disbursed from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) for the same.

The ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has projects worth Rs 30,000 crore lined up but the ministry of finance has not disbursed the required funds, said senior officials. In the past four years, Rs 18,000 crore has been collected.

With the NCEF amount being doubled to Rs 200 per tonne from earlier Rs 100 per tonne, the MNRE is expecting additional Rs 14,000 crore to come in the government's kitty. NCEF was raised through a cess on coal purchase and import. Among the beneficiary projects are off-grid solar schemes, projects tendered by the central government under viability gap funding and all solar projects, which would come in strategic and defence locations.

A part of NCEF would also finance the ambitious Green Corridor project, an alternative transmission infrastructure for renewable energy. The soft loans disbursed by IREDA under its several schemes are also sourced from NCEF.

"A part of the gross budgetary support of MNRE would also come from the NCEF so the ministry is in a fix on how to manage the funds and at the same time provide funding to the ballooning number of projects," said a senior official requesting anonymity.

The NCEF was announced in the Union Budget of 2010-11 for promoting clean energy. Due to lack of inter-ministerial coordination over identifying the correct beneficiaries, projects worth Rs 10,000 crore are stalled for want of allocation of funds from the NCEF, MNRE officials said.

  • Total amount collected under NCEF from 2010-11 till date: Rs 18,000 cr
  • Total amount sanctioned for projects: Rs 30,000 cr
  • Cess amount increased to Rs 200 per tonne from Rs 100 per tonne of coal purchased
  • NCEF amount to increase by Rs 14,000 cr in this financial year
  • Awaiting projects: 750-Mw solar mission projects, subsidy for solar off-grid applications, rooftop solar schemes, solar projects for defence areas, projects by central PSUs, soft loans by IREDA and Green Energy Corridor

First Published: Wed, June 17 2015. 00:38 IST