Jaipur: In the past one year, Rajasthan has regained some of the lost ground to become the second-largest producer of solar power in the country, but to reclaim the top position, the state needs to have an investor-friendly tariff and policy regime.
In its budget recommendations to the state government, Rajasthan Solar Association (RSA) drew attention to a number of areas, focusing not only on adding more generation capacity but also building an entire solar power ecosystem that would yield multiple benefits for the state.
The industry body urged the government to bring in provisions in the budget to list solar street lights, lanterns, heaters and other items in the Rajasthan Transparency in Public Procurement Act and mandate the government departments to source only from the state’s MSMEs.
To make the Kusum scheme a success, it said the current tariff of Rs 3.14 per unit, which was fixed on Thursday, should be increased to attract investors. Kusum scheme allows farmers to set up solar plants to run pumps for irrigating their fields. Under the scheme, farmers can also lease their unutilized land to developers and earn fees.
Sunil Bansal, general secretary of RSA, said, “So far, the applications from developers are less than the land offered by farmers. This shows the developers feel that the return on investment is not adequate. We want the government to recognize the trends and raise tariffs. These projects offer great hope to farmers for getting day power which will change their social life.”
Since Rajasthan has been at the center of the solar revolution in the country, the industry body wants the government to develop capacity building institutions like research and development centers and skills training facilities.
“As a leader, we have to be at the forefront of building all the necessary ecosystem and infrastructure. The RRDEF (Rajasthan Renewable Energy Development Fund) has the resources and that should be utilised for capacity building and promoting the sector,” added Bansal.
For commercial and industrial consumers, the net metering cap of 1 megawatt has been a concern. The industry body said that since the dynamics of the industry has changed with bigger projects being set up, the cap of 1 MW should now be increased to 2 MW. Bansal said that Haryana has already raised the cap and Rajasthan should also follow suit.
State Solar capacity
Karnataka 7274 MW
Rajasthan 4844 MW
Tamil Nadu 3788 MW
Andhra Pradesh 3559 MW
News Source: The Times of India.