India has set a solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity addition target of 100 GW by 2022. According to Mercom’s India Solar Tracker, so far over 26 GW of solar PV capacity has been installed in India. Still, there is a deficit of over 73 GW of solar capacity to be installed in the next four years.
Now, the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) has come up with a wish list to help attain India’s solar targets.
- Renewable purchase obligation (RPO) enforcement must be undertaken with further intensified effort.
- Renewable energy certificate (REC) market and bankability should be strengthened.
- Solar energy must be moved from ‘class’ to ‘mass’.
- Every farm should be encouraged to set up and export solar energy to the grid through net metering. Farmers should be enabled to supply electricity to the grid.
- Every taluka should go in for appropriate size solar project – thus ensuring decentralized solar power generation.
- Large deployment of micro and mini grids must be undertaken.
- Affordable low-cost solar finance should be made available.
- High priority must be given to deployment of concentrated solar power (CSP) with new technologies.
- Adaptation of new solar storage technologies must be prioritized.
- There should be parity in taxes and duties.
- Massive research effort and collaboration with world’s reputed laboratories should be undertaken to commercialize the already-achieved high efficiency (42% in NREL and other laboratories). If this is done, it will be a disruptive technology requiring half the land required presently.
- Easy finance availability for residential rooftop, commercial and industrial establishments, especially MSMEs should be made available.
- Support and encouragement should be provided for Indian manufacturing, including module manufacturing to become globally competitive.
- Evacuation of renewable power should be state’s responsibility.
- Ideally, there should be no open access charge for renewable energy. If this is not possible, then there should be uniform, low open access rates throughout the country for renewable energy.
- Land should be made available on priority basis.
- Solar should be accorded priority similar that of space and nuclear energy.
- Renewable energy budget must be hiked. The budget should double every year. Even with this increase, it will be much smaller than fossil fuel subsidies.
- E-mobility should be encouraged with utilization of solar energy.
In the wish list, the NSEFI has covered important bases in the renewable energy sector. If we combine mobility with renewable energy generation, it will be a great leap towards attaining our climate goals as a nation. It will help us attain our renewable energy targets, especially solar (100 GW) and curb emissions.
In the past too, NSEFI has come up with suggestions at times the industry has been uncertain. When safeguard duty was being levied, NSEFI had suggested that safeguard duty must not be levied on projects that have already been bid out as developers wouldn’t have accounted for a 25 percent duty which would increase projects costs by about 15 percent. Added costs will burden companies and impact their repayment of borrowings to lenders.