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Gujarat to lead the way in the renewable energy sector, as state government announces additional benefits in Solar Power policy

CM Vijay Rupani said, "Currently, the industry gets power at an average cost of ₹8 per unit. The new policy will help bring it down to ₹4.5 per unit." The policy will be operative for five years till December 31, 2025.

On December 29, the Gujarat State government launched a new solar policy with additional benefits to the residential, commercial and individual developers for the next five years. Dubbed as Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021, the policy was announced by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Gandhinagar.

It aims to remove capacity ceiling for setting up a solar project allowing the consumers to lease their premises or roofs to a third party for power generation. That means the property owner will be able to generate and consume power on the same premises.

Self-consumption on group ownership

Gujarat government has allowed group ownership of solar projects for self-consumption. It will be based on the ratio of ownership. The government has also reduced the security deposit required to be given to Discoms for the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by the developers to Rs.5 lakh per megawatt which was Rs.25 lakh per megawatt previously.

Rupani, during his address at the launch, said, “Currently, the industry gets power at an average cost of ₹8 per unit. The new policy will help bring it down to ₹4.5 per unit.” The policy will be operative for five years till December 31, 2025.

Under the new policy, the benefits can be availed for 25 years. As per the reports, residential units will be able to save anywhere between Rs.1.77 to Rs.3.70 per unit while the industrial units will save anywhere between Rs.2.99 to Rs.4.31 per unit. For the third party buyers, the savings will range from Rs.0.91 to Rs.2.30 per unit. Individual consumers, corporative societies, farmers, small developers and households will benefit from the new policy.

Provision to buy surplus energy

As per the Gujarat government’s statement, the state will purchase surplus energy after setting it off against the consumption. Discoms will purchase the surplus energy from residential consumers and MSME users for captive usage. It will be set-off against the consumption at Rs.2.25 per unit for the first five years. After that, it will be set off at 75 percent of the latest tariff. It will be contracted via GUVNL via bidding process for non-park based solar projects in the coming six months, and it will be valid for the remaining life of the project.

Saurabh Patel, Gujarat Energy Minister, said that the policy would enable residential consumers, commercial consumers, farmers, MSMEs, educational institutes, religional institutes etc. to generate electricity and sell off the surplus. He added that the state had received bids for “2,300 MW from residential, small industrial and institutional power producers having a capacity of up to 4 MW at an average price of ₹2.83 per unit.” Based on the grid requirements, the contracts will be awarded by January 3.

Industries will be able to compete in Global Market – CM Rupani

During his address, CM Rupani said that with Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021, the production cost of small and large enterprises in the state will come down. It will help the industries of the state to compete in the global market.

With the current capacity of 11,000 MW of green power production, Gujarat aims to increase it to 30,000 by 2022 mainly using solar and wind.

Largest renewable energy generation park in Kutch

On December 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid down the foundation stone of India’s largest renewable energy generation park in Gujarat. It will have generation capacity fo 30 gigawatts. Spread over 72,600 hectares, the Hybrid Renewable Energy Park is located near Vighakot village in Gujarat’s Kutch district. It will have dedicated zones for wind and solar energy storage and an exclusive zone for wind park activities.

India planning to bring 1.75 lakh crore investment for the renewable energy sector

India is planning to obtain up to Rs.1.75 lakh crore as an investment for the renewable energy sector. Currently, India has the capacity of 90 GW in renewable energy generation. It includes 37 GW of solar and 39 GW of wind power generation capacity.

Director-General of Solar Power Developers Association Shekhar Dutt said that India needs funds of Rs. 1.75 lakh crore to achieve the balance capacity of 35 GW to accomplish the overall ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022. This includes 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from biogas and 5 GW from small hydropower.

While talking about the target, Union Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said, “We are going to come out with more innovative bids (in 2021).” He added that the past efforts had put India as the most favoured destination for investment in the clean energy sector.

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