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Renewable energy: Buzzword for Gujarat’s power requirement- Targets 3GW Solar in 5 years

Gujarat is the first state in India to come out with a comprehensive solar policy with targets and implementation mechanisms and is leading in the Solar energy implementation in India. Of course, the widely talked Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission has also been launched and the bidding for the solar thermal and the first stage of the first phase of the solar mission launched.

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.

According to reports, one of the first states in the country to focus on natural gas consumption, Gujarat has now shifted its focus to the largely untapped non-conventional sources of energy such as wind and solar for power generation.

The state already has installed wind power generation capacity of more than 1,900 MW, which is almost 15% of the state’s total power generation capacity of 13,354 MW. This capacity is projected to increase to around 2,500 MW by the end of this year with commissioning of some projects.

However, the state government has set its sights on achieving wind power generation capacity of a whopping 10,000 MW in the coming five to six years.

“There is a lot of potential in wind energy in the state, particularly in Kutch and Saurashtra. There is potential to generate 10,000 MW of clean energy by harnessing wind energy, which we plan to tap in the next few years,” says DJ Pandian, principal secretary, energy & petrochemicals department.

Another focus area of the state government is solar power. Kutch and north Gujarat in particular, which receive sunlight for 300 days in a year, are expected to witness a lot of action in the field of solar power generation, according to state energy minister Saurabh Patel.

The state government has also roped in consultancy firm KPMG to prepare a roadmap to make the most of solar power in the state.

Already, the state government is in the process of setting up a solar park at Charanka in Patan, which will house solar power generation units. The government has signed power purchase agreements for over 950 MW of solar power, of which 300 MW is expected to go on stream in the state by December 31.

Pandian says that Gujarat will have the highest installed solar power generation capacity in the whole country in a few months from now.

“Gujarat is the leader in solar power generation, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We are targeting solar power generation of 3,000 MW in five years,” he says further, adding that things were moving in the right direction.

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