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Push for solar energy: states in overdrive
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The stalemate in climate talks cast shadow on clean energy funding worldwide and the renewable energy certificate trade in India nosedived following the failure of distribution companies to meet obligatory purchase targets. But this does not seem to deter various Indian states to come out with state solar energy policy.


Close on the heels of Chhattisgarh announcing its solar policy with an investment target of Rs. 10,000 crore by 2017, Uttar Pradesh released its draft solar policy. Kerala released a discussion paper on solar power tariff while Andhra Pradhesh came up with a revised solar energy policy, promising VAT refund and intrastate open access to solar power developers. States such as Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan already have a solar energy policy in place.

Most of the states have incorporated incentives such as exemption from electricity duty, higher tariff for solar power and in some cases refund of stamp duty and registration charges of land purchase to attract solar power developers.

The recently announced Chhattisgarh state policy targets 500-1,000 MW solar power capacity by 2017 consisting of grid connected, solar parks and rooftop type projects.

States focus on solar energy in the hope that more than 300 sunny days in many of them will help generate so much electricity that would solve perennial supply shortage.

Most of these states have solar radiation measured above 5.5 kilowatt-hour per square metre, Rajasthan having the highest at 5.78 kWh/m2. Rajasthan has an ambitious target of 10,000 MW by 2021-23.



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