MNRE Missing Annual RE Targets, 175 GW by 2022 at Risk: Parliamentary Panel

The committee observed “with deep concern that the ministry has continuously failed to achieve its yearly target (of renewable capacity addition). For 2016-17 and 2017-18, against the grid-connected renewable energy target of 16,569 MW and 14,445 MW, the ministry could achieve 11,319.75MW and 11,876.82 MW respectively.”

December 09, 2019. By News Bureau

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has incessantly failed to accomplish its annual targets of clean energy capacity addition, which may impede the mission of having 175 GW of renewables by 2022, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy has educated the parliament.

The committee observed “with deep concern that the ministry has continuously failed to achieve its yearly target (of renewable capacity addition). For 2016-17 and 2017-18, against the grid-connected renewable energy target of 16,569 MW and 14,445 MW, the ministry could achieve 11,319.75MW and 11,876.82 MW respectively.”

The panel was of the view that “year-on-year shortfall in achievement of targets may hamper the entire mission of achieving 175GW (of renewables) by 2022, which in turn reflects poorly upon the commitment and sincerity of the MNRE.”

The panel also noted that banks are reluctant to finance renewable projects as there are a lot of bad loans or NPAs in the power sector and at present, both conventional power sector and renewable energy sector are clubbed together for their loan basket.

It also noted that about Rs 9,700 crore dues are owed by states and discoms towards renewable energy developers or generators. If the same is not paid back, many of the solar and wind project will turn into non-performing assets. The committee is of the view that the renewable energy ministry holds discussions with state governments and come up with guidelines or directives, so as to ensure timely payment from discoms to developers or generators.

The panel also wants that the bank should separate loan basket and limit of the renewable energy sector from that of the conventional power sector.

It has also recommended simplification of the process of subsidy disbursement and wide publicity of benefits of having rooftop solar projects and the incentives.

It noted that India achieved 1826 MW of rooftop solar capacity till October 15, 2019. India has set a target of achieving 40 GW of rooftop solar power generation capacity by 2022. The panel said, “There should have been an installed rooftop solar power capacity of 16,000 MW by 2018-19…the committee is highly disappointed with the dismal performance of the ministry in this sector….give this programme a serious relook, otherwise, it will derail the entire National Solar Mission.”

The panel also suggested formulating a dedicated programme to support solar manufacturing in the country. It noted that the price of solar equipment in the country is not competitive as compared to foreign manufacturers especially Chinese. About 85 percent of the solar equipment/cells/modules are imported from China and other countries like Vietnam and Malaysia.

The panel also pointed towards a decrease in budgetary allocation at the revised estimates stage to the ministry and low utilization of even decreased allocation of funds. It was of the view that this reflects poor financial planning by the ministry.

Contrary to the view of the panel, the Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh had said in October that the target of having 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 looks huge. “But, we have established 83 GW clean energy. About 29 GW of renewable energy is under installation. That makes it 112 GW and under about 30 GW is under bid. So that makes the 175 GW of renewables. I am very confident that we would make it (175 GW of renewables by 2022).”

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