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Implementation of solar projects likely to gather pace, says MNRE Secretary

According to reports, the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy expects the pace of implementation of solar energy projects in the country to gather pace as more States encourage their implementation and chip in with subsidies.

“While encouraging establishment of solar energy units providing subsidies may be good in the initial years, this may not be the best way to encourage the growth of the sector,” Ratan P. Watal, Secretary, MNRE, Government of India, said.

Speaking at a meeting on solar water heating systems organised by MNRE here, he said the country has made big strides in a little over three years after launching the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) and hoped that the pace of implementation will accelerate as more States take up the task of encouraging setting up of solar photovoltaic projects.

Referring to the country’s larger climate change mission wherein the JNNSM fits in, he said the total renewable energy installed capacity works out to about 13 per cent (about 28,000 MW), contributing to about 6 per cent of the country’s energy. It is proposed to increase its contribution by about 6-9 per cent and take it up to 12-15 per cent of overall energy mix in the country by 2020.

Watal said the climate change is impacting us in many ways and it is expected that the water level in the sea will go up by about six inches. When this happens, it is likely to submerge 1000s of islands in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal.

With solar water heaters (geysers) as major power consumers after air-conditioners, he said States need to focus on encouraging and replacing them with solar water heaters as they pay back within few years.

Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MNRE, said implementation of solar water heaters has picked up in Maharashtra and Karnataka but other States are yet to pick up in spite of subsidies. He felt Government facilitation holds the key to its effective implementation.

M.Sahoo, Special Chief Secretary, Energy, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said, “It is surprising to note that implementation of solar projects have still not picked up in Andhra Pradesh in spite of various incentives and encouragement given by the State.” He hoped their implementation would improve.


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