According to reports, manufacturers and integrators of solar power systems in the state, who are facing a ‘credibility crisis’ in the current scenario following the infamous solar scam, have asked the government to implement the solar policy as early as possible to ensure a fair environment in the sector.
“It is the need of the hour as many other states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, have this policy. We made a draft and nothing happened as the controversy had broke out,” said Georgekutty Kariyanappally, secretary of Kerala Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs and Promoters Association (KREEPA), at a meeting on Sunday. He also demanded the government to make the KREEPA a consultant for its agencies, with arbitrary powers in dispute cases with clients. The KREEPA, which aims to make the state a model for others in the use of renewable energy, organised the meeting to discuss the ‘solar scam’ fallout on the industry and to formulate a way out for the Rs 200 crore market.
Majority of the participants of the meeting held at Mithradham near here said the absence of a state government agency, which could provide a stamp of approval or official certification, paved the way for the the scam which made a negative impact on the market with a potential of Rs 400 crore.
The Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology, the state government agency for support and implementation of schemes and projects in the non-conventional energy sector, has not been empowered in this regard.
“Many clients find it difficult to ascertain the genuineness of companies. We will have a thorough scrutiny of new members as we want to add more credibility to our organisation,” said Jose Kallookkaran, KREEPA treasurer. “The last state budget had proposed 50 per cent reduction in residential tax for buildings with facility to produce solar energy. It had also suggested Rs 1 reduction in power tariff for every one unit of power produced using solar equipment. However, both did not happen and there is no discussion regarding this,” said G Sivaramakrishnan, KREEPA executive member.