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Solar energy sector speeding in Karnataka


From the time when the government introduced a solar energy policy (2011-16) solar sector is on developing ride in Karnataka.

According to a report Renewable Energy prepared by PwC, which was released at the conference on ‘Sustainable Energy Through Renewables’, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Wednesday, Karnataka is the only state to have supported solar projects under the REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) mechanism. Close to 950 Mw of project proposals have been submitted to Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), which are under different stages of implementation like preparation of DPR.

Marvellous progress has been made by Karnataka in solar sector. Already it is having 14 MW installed capacity,  and over 1.2 GW  in the pipeline under various schemes. The 14MW installation is done under  Arunodaya programme by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. Of these 3 Mwp each are in Kolar, Belgaum and Raichur and a 5 Mwp in Mandya district in Karnataka. Based on report submitted to CERC in 2010, the energy produced by the 3 MWp in Belgaum was around 3.9 million units.

In a recent bid the government has allotted projects for 80 MW (60 MW for solar PV and 20 Mw for solar thermal) at tariffs between Rs 7.94 to Rs 8.50 per unit for solar PV and  between Rs 10.94 and Rs 11.32 per unit for solar thermal projects.

Karnataka is having one of the highest potentials for renewable energy among all states in India. Renewable sources are contributing to around 24% of the state’s installed capacity. If minor changes are done in the policy framework, Karnataka may come in the top 3 states in terms of annual wind capacity additions. Investors are attracted by the large untapped wind potential and above average wind.

Estimated renewable energy potential is 28 GW. As per the report a total of 17,278 MW, has been allotted from wind, small hydro, co-generation and biomass sectors which is nearly 60 per cent of the full potential. Of this, 2,016 MW is from wind, 88.5 MW from biomass, 948.7 MW from bagasse co-generation, 646 MW small hydro and 14 Mw of solar power have been explored. Most of the sites are far from grid. There is therefore a need to develop a robust and reliable transmission system for extracting the renewable potential. This will definitely help develop Karnataka as a leader.

(Source: Business Standard)