The new solar power policy 2015, launched by Gujarat government, is set boost entrepreneurship. Experts welcomed the policy, terming it a step towards decentralisation of solar power generation.
The policy, effective till March 2020, looks to encourage investors to set up megawatt-scale projects under solar photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. It is also aimed at encouraging smaller generation units, mainly kilowatt (kW)-scale solar projects, in the form of solar rooftop systems.
The minimum size of a MW-scale project would be 1 MW and that for a kW-scale project would be 1 kW, the policy document noted. The policy is yet to be notified by the government. The new solar policy is also seen in accordance with State’s Industrial Policy 2015, which promotes ‘Make in India’ campaign and provides incentives like subsidy benefits and simplification of procedures.
Also, the State’s ‘Electronics Policy of Gujarat’ supports facilitation for setting up semiconductor wafer facilities. It also extends benefits for solar cell manufacturing, solar modules and panel manufacturing, lanterns and lamp manufacturing and systems, falling under the purview of solar technology.
This is the second solar power policy, after 2009. So far, the past policy has helped set up cumulative solar power generation capacity of over 1,000 megawatts (MW) with investment of about ₹9,000 crore. “If the earlier 2009 Policy was a trail blazer for Utility Scale Solar Plants, this new Policy can be acclaimed for its emphasis on decentralised solar power generation and benefiting actual user. Roof top solar installation will encourage all categories of users, residential, commercial and industrial,” said Pranav Mehta, Chairman, National Solar Energy Federation of India, a trade body promoting solar energy.
Solar developers believed that genuine electricity consumers will benefit, and the policy has not lost sight of renewable (power) purchase obligation (RPO) fulfilment, and also that the new provisions will facilitate RPO compliance.
“Besides benefiting the consumers, this policy will help the local system integrator and MNRE Channel Partners. The Policy also addresses the need for manufacturing of Solar Panels and lays a much needed emphasis and encouragement to Technology Demonstration Plants,” added Mehta.
Source: The Hindu