In a major shot in the arm of Yogi Adityanath government’s efforts to shore up renewable energy in Uttar Pradesh, the green energy sector has attracted private investment proposals worth over Rs 728 billion.
The green energy sector accounted for over 15% of the composite Rs 4.68 trillion worth of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) signed during the two-day UP Investors Summit 2018 on 21-22 February.
The green energy sector with 46 MoUs worth Rs 728 billion stood second only to the state infrastructure sector, which accounted for maximum almost Rs 1.80 trillion worth of MoUs, thus accounting for over 38% of total investment proposals.
Sources said while 1045 MoUs worth Rs 4.28 trillion were signed at the Summit, more agreements with companies were signed in the successive days, taking the total number of MoUs to 1074 and aggregate investment proposals to Rs 4.68 trillion.
Interestingly, the green energy sector investment proposals worth Rs 728 billion is almost 10 times compared to the conventional energy sector, which managed only 76 billion worth of 11 MoUs.
Under the new UP solar energy policy 2017, the Adityanath government had already set target of private investment worth Rs 500 billion and attaining aggregate solar energy capacity of 10,700 megawatt (mw) over the next 4-5 years.
Of the targetted 10,700 mw of solar energy capacity by 2022, 6,400 mw would comprise setting up of utility scale grid solar power projects, which feed directly to the grid under power purchase agreement (PPA).
Earlier, UP New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (UPNEDA), the nodal state agency for solar power, had on January 8 invited e-bids for the procurement of 1,000 mw of solar energy. Over 40 companies had participated in the tariff-based e-bidding.
Besides, top Indian energy companies, including Adani Power, Essel Infraprojects Limited, Azure Power, Sukhbir Agro Energy Limited, Amplus Energy Solutions and CleanMax Solar had evinced interest in setting up solar energy projects to the tune of over Rs 50 billion in the state.
Under the new solar energy policy, the Adityanath government is preparing an action plan to develop a Green Energy Corridor in the arid Bundelkhand region at an investment of about Rs 40 billion, to be part funded by the Centre.
Bundelkhand is considered ideal for solar energy, since it is abundant in barren land. Besides, these mega projects would not only give a major economic fillip in the region, but also create employment opportunities to stop the migration of youth.
As an added incentive, the new policy allows investors the facility of ‘open access’ and to sell power to individual or institutional consumers within or outside UP. This was restricted in the previous policy framework and they were supposed to feed the entire energy generated to UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) grid.