According to reports, Odisha that has nearly 25% of the country’s coal reserves, has urged the Centre to allocate sufficient funds from the National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF).
Contribution to the NCEF is from a cess collected on coal mined in coal bearing states. NCEF corpus has reached Rs 10,127 crore (as on March 2014) and is expected to grow by another Rs 6,800 crore during 2014-15 due doubling of the cess from Rs 50 per tonne to Rs 100 a tonne.
“While coal rich states including Odisha have been contributing to enrichment of NCEF funds, the beneficiaries have generally been the western states where NCEF corpus has been used to facilitate generation of solar energy in a big way. States like Odisha are not being given any assistance under NCEF”, said a state official.
By the end of July this year, around Rs 500 crore has been disbursed to the Union ministry of new & renewable energy (MNRE). However, barely Rs 1.6 crore has been spent so far on renewable energy projects by the ministry in the past three years.
Odisha has a list of many projects that are in urgent need of funds to promote renewable energy.
In order to promote generation of renewable energy, Government of India provides subsidy/incentive through different schemes which is otherwise known as Generation Based Incentive (GBI). The state government has requested that allocation from NCEF may be considered for timely payment of GBI/subsidy to the utilities which will help the renewable energy developers to take up the cause of renewable energy generation in a big way.
Renewable energy potential in Odisha has been assessed at 11820 Mw, with solar energy having the highest potential at 10000 Mw among all green energy sources.
The potential for solar photo-voltaic source is the highest at 8000 Mw followed by solar thermal and wind power at 2000 Mw and 910 Mw respectively.
So far, solar power projects of 13 Mw have been commissioned in the state while new projects with a total capacity of 30 Mw are under various stages of implementation.
Investments to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore are expected to flow to Odisha in the renewable energy sector during the 12th Plan Period (2012-17) as the state has targeted capacity augmentation of 350 MW from solar, wind and bio-mass sources in the period.