Renewable Energy has arrived in India: Piyush Goyal

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Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy stated while delivering the key note address at the Seminar on Renewable Energy at the Make in India week in Mumbai, “The big picture is that renewable energy has arrived in India and it is the future.” The event is being organized in Mumbai by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Government of Maharashtra.

He emphasized that a well drawn-out roadmap will help achieve the 175 gigawatt target by 2022. He said, “The framework both for financing renewable energy in the country and creating an enabling infrastructure for solar and wind has been developed.”

Highlighting the other thrust areas in the renewables sector, Mr Goyal said, “There needs to be a strong focus on hydro and biofuels. Biofuels should be given an extra thrust not only because they can help address the pollution issue in Delhi and generate income for the farmers, but also primarily because these can help the country reduce reliance on imports of petroleum products.”

Elaborating on the plan to scale up solar, he further added, “This year about 18 GW will be bid out of which bidding has been completed for 4-5 GW and another 8-9 GW capacity are likely to be awarded shortly. The Ministry is working aggressively with the state governments to ensure adequate transmission capacity and is looking to add another 25 solar parks.

Sharing some good news on the financing costs, Mr Goyal said, “Both Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation are willing to fund credible borrowers at single digits. In addition, we are also exploring options on how we can engage with the World Bank and evaluating if pension and insurance funds can invest in India.”

Providing an insight on some key policy interventions which will give an impetus to the growth of renewables, he said, “Rooftops are now part of home loans. Upto 15 crores investment in renewables will come under priority sector lending.

On the manufacturing front, Mr Goyal emphasized on the importance of having an end to end manufacturing facility. He said, “We are looking at 10 GW of manufacturing capacity over the next three years and manufacturing is going to be the cheapest in India given the benefits of economies of scale.”

Providing his perspective, Mr Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said, “Financing is a big challenge, but we have made considerable progress over the last one year. We have got green commitments from the banks and the industry. But we need a lot more finance to come in and equity funds also need to invest. The solar tariffs at an all-time low of Rs 4.34 per kwh has largely been driven by these investments. The government is now trying to bring in policies which minimize risks.”

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