Partaking in PM-KUSUM Tenders a Task for Distributed RE Start-Ups: CLEAN Report

"The key challenge as highlighted by the members surveyed indicates that the eligibility criteria for participation of firms in the KUSUM tenders have not provided equal space for early-stage start-ups," the report said

September 26, 2019. By News Bureau

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Early stage start-ups functioning in the Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) space are facing a task in partaking in tenders floated under the ambitious KUSUM scheme, as per a report based on a survey by CLEAN.

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to upkeep installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas and reduce dependence on grid, in grid-connected areas.

With the overall goal of making the farmers independent, the implementation guidelines for PM-KUSUM scheme were announced in July 2019. It involves setting up of 25,750 MW solar capacity by 2022 with a total central financial support of Rs 34,422 crore.

"The key challenge as highlighted by the members surveyed indicates that the eligibility criteria for participation of firms in the KUSUM tenders has not provided equal space for early stage start-ups," the report said.

CLEAN had projected the market prospective of the DRE sector in India to be in the range of USD 100 billion. The DRE companies deliver clean energy solutions comprising solar pumps, solar lanterns and solar home systems.

CLEAN gathered the report based on its annual survey "State of the Decentralized Renewable Energy Sector in India". The 42 CLEAN member enterprises who responded to the survey serve 4,300,000 customers in India and are responsible for 4,344 full-time jobs and 2,556 part-time jobs in the sector.

"The policies and schemes around solar pumps are maturing and there is scope of growth under KUSUM scheme under which 17.5 Lakh standalone solar powered pumps are set to be deployed," said the CLEAN report.

The report believed around 10 million solar lamps and lanterns were sold in India in 2017 and 2018, up from 6.38 million in 2016. It added enterprises face difficulty in competing with subsidized grid tariffs due to high levelized cost of electricity and the operators of mini-grids have called for mini-grid policy.

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