Govt to auction up to 21 GW of solar, wind capacities by March 2018

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In order to boost renewable energy production across the country, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy on Friday announced auction of up to 21 GW solar and wind capacities by March 2018. The ministry will auction total 3-4 GW wind power capacity during third and fourth rounds by March 2018. Each round will be of 1.5-2 GW each, said R K Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, during a media interaction in New Delhi on Friday.

The government has already auctioned 2 GW wind capacity in first and second rounds this year. It has also decided to put for bidding 10 GW wind capacities each in 2018-19 and 2019-20 to meet the target of 60 GW by 2022. At present, wind power installed capacity is 32 GW.

As far as solar auction is concerned, the govt is looking at auction total 17 GW capacity by March 2018. So far, 3.6 GW solar capacities have been auctioned. To meet the milestone of 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, the Centre will go in for auction of 30 GW solar capacities each in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

Singh added: “(We) will think about imposing Customs duty on solar equipment once we develop our domestic manufacturing capacity.” The Solar Energy Corporation of India will be the nodal agency for most of the auctions.

Wind power tariff had dropped sharply to an all-time low of Rs 2.64 per unit during the second auction by the SECI for 1 GW projects in October. Solar power has seen a similar play where the tariff had dropped to a record low of Rs 2.44 per unit in a tariff-driven bidding earlier this year. The power minister asserted that India will easily achieve 200 GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 against the targeted 175 GW.

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