Gujarat has released a state specific solar policy with an ambitious target of installing 1,000 Mw solar power capacity by the end of 2012 and 3,000 Mw in next five years. The state has already signed PPAs for about 934MW. The tariffs have been fixed in the case of Gujarat.
Bloomberg has reported earlier this month that delayed solar-power plants face fines as Gujarat sets precedent. A common complaint among various players in the ecosystem including EPC players, vendors, inverter manufacturers etc., is that developers are waiting and watching and in discussions all the time without making the commitments as deadlines have been rather flexible so far.
As a result of this action the activity in the solar side seems to have picked up and a number of projects in the last month have made various announcements.
However, in a recent interview, the principal secretary for energy and petrochemicals of government of Gujarat, DJ Pandian said: “Out of total 950 MW of proposed solar projects, we are certain about 300 MW of capacity creation by end of 2011 while developers for 200 MW need push from the financial institutions and the government machinery. We are concerned about developers who will miss the deadline for 450 MW of projects.”
According to reports, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri. Narendra Modi speaking at a function reiterated his resolve to make Gujarat a world-capital of solar energy. This will become true with world’s largest solar power plant near Radhanpur in North Gujarat start functioning, he said.
For this vision to translate to reality, Panchabuta believes that developers that have signed their PPAs but do not execute their projects need to be penalized as per the clauses in the PPA. Further the government has to make a proactive and realistic assessment of the progress thus far and not hesitate in cancelling the PPAs for projects that they do not expect will come up.
Such a step along with a clear and transparent policy of reallotment to serious developers who are now starting to emerge from the first two phases of projects in Gujarat will go a long way in making this vision happen in Gujarat.