AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Tuesday launched a new solar policy to ensure clean energy.
The new policy, according to the government, will cut down dependency on conventional coal-based power generation and will help MSME industry in its production cost.
Chief minister Vijay Rupani announced the Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021 in the presence of energy minister Saurabh Patel and minister of state (energy) Pradeepsinh Jadeja.
The CM said, “The State Government had implemented Solar Policy in 2015 to increase the growth of solar energy sector and provide affordable electricity to the people. Considering the overwhelming response to this policy, the Government of Gujarat is now going to implement the new "Gujarat Solar Power Policy 2021" to ensure clean, environmentally friendly and sustainable energy in the state.”
He further added that Gujarat has taken various proactive measures and made rapid strides to take the development of Renewable Energy in the state to a new height. This has resulted in the overall growth of the renewable energy sector and made Gujarat a leader in the country.
Increase in consumption and production of solar energy in the state will bring down production cost for industries and accelerate the 'Made in Gujarat' brand and increase its presence in global market.
Giving details about the policy, the Chief Minister added that increased solar energy generation will reduce dependence on conventional power resources like coal-based plants and in turn promote environment-friendly – green and clean energy generation.
The chief minister further added, “Gujarat model is already proving to be very important in solar power sector. Moving forward in the same direction, the Gujarat government has made an important decision to make Gujarat a hub of green energy by expanding the RE generation base. Gujarat Solar Policy-2021 has been announced to accelerate the development in this sector and I am confident Gujarat will guide India in renewable energy development in the near future”.
The state government has announced several benefits that give a major boost in promoting a brighter future for the development of greener and cleaner renewable energy in Gujarat. Moreover, MSME and large-scale industries will be encouraged to use solar energy and thus be able to bring down their production cost.
Giving more details about the policy, the chief minister said, "MSMEs will be able to reduce their cost of production due to solar energy usage and also large-scale industries too will be able to compete in the global market".
The new solar power policy will be valid for five years i.e. up to December 2025 and benefits of the solar projects set up under this policy can be availed for a project life of 25 years.
Providing details about incentives of the newly unveiled policy, the chief minister said, "Any person 0r developer 0r consumer can set up solar projects without any capacity ceiling while the existing ceiling of 50% sanctioned load 0r contracted demand has been removed".
Consumers can set up solar projects on their roof 0r premises or can give their roof 0r premises on lease to third party for generation and consumption of power in the same premises.
Moreover, a group of consumers can set up solar projects for self-consumption as collective ownership project and can consume the generated energy in the ratio of their ownership.
The provision for security deposit to be submitted by developer to DISCOMs has been reduced from Rs 25 lakh 0r MW to Rs 5 lakh 0r MW.
The state government is encouraging consumers, farmers, co-operative societies, households and small developers to set up solar projects and contribute towards the government’s initiative of development of Clean and Green energy through various policy initiatives like SURYA Gujarat Scheme, PM-KUSUM Scheme and Small Scale Distributed Solar Projects Policy 2019.
The new policy will further strengthen these efforts. In order to encourage small scale solar projects, power Distribution Companies will now purchase power from these small-scale solar projects (up to 4 MW) at 20 paise 0r unit tariff higher than tariff discovered through competitive bidding while DISCOMs will purchase solar power from projects above 4 MW capacity through a competitive bidding process.
The chief minister further mentioned that the state government will purchase surplus energy after set off against their consumption. For Residential Consumers (Surya Gujarat Yojana) and MSMEs (manufacturing) for captive usage, DISCOMs will purchase surplus energy after set off against their consumption at Rs 2.25 per unit for initial 5 years and thereafter at 75% of latest tariff discovered and contracted by GUVNL through competitive bidding process for non-park based solar projects in preceding 6 months which shall remain fixed for remaining life of the project.
For all other consumers, it will be purchased at 75% of latest tariff discovered and contracted by GUVNL through competitive bidding process for non-park based solar projects in preceding 6 months which shall remain fixed for the project life of 25 years.
As far as banking charges are concerned for HT consumers and LT (demand-based) consumers, it will be Rs 1.50 per unit for their solar energy consumption while for all other consumers and MSME units it will Rs. 1.10 per unit. Moreover, no banking charges shall be applicable to Residential Consumers and Govt. Buildings. Cross Subsidy Surcharge (CSS) and Additional Surcharge (AS) will not be applicable in case of self-consumption (captive). However, CSS and AS as applicable to normal open access consumers will remain applicable in case of projects for third party sale.
Rupani added that transmission and wheeling charges or losses shall be applicable as relevant to normal open access consumers while subsidy support from the government will be continued for Solar Rooftop Projects set up under SURYA-Gujarat scheme.
Solar Projects set up under this policy may have estimated savings to consumers as follows:
* Residential Consumer - Rs. 1.77 – 3.78 per unit
* Industrial and Commercial (Captive) - Rs. 2.92 – 4.31 per unit
* Industrial and Commercial (Third Party Sale) - Rs. 0.91 – 2.30 per unit.
Gujarat has already achieved 11,000 MW of production capacity and has set a target of producing 30,000 MW of green energy by 2022, which will largely include wind and solar energy.
Moreover, Gujarat has successfully implemented the Solar Rooftop Scheme and is currently generating around 800 MW of solar energy from it. Gujarat has been ranked first in the country for largest solar rooftop installations.
Apart from launching the first solar policy in the country, Gujarat has launched "Surya Gujarat Yojana". The government is increasing the capacity of Charanka Solar Park in Patan and works are in the implementation stage for 1,000 MW solar park at Dholera and 700 MW solar park at Raghanesda. In this way, Gujarat has also achieved a unique place in the field of renewable energy.
He added that recently Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the World’s largest renewable energy park near Khavda in Kutch district which will be spread over 60,000 hectares of area. This hybrid renewable energy park will give a new direction to the state as far as development of solar energy is concerned.
Once this 30 GW renewable energy park starts functioning, it will generate around 60,000 million units of clean and green energy and this will result in a reduction of 60 million tonnes of carbon.
Not only this, but it will also result in saving of 40 million tonnes of coal and offer employment opportunities to around 25,000 people annually.
Apart from Gujarat, this RE Park will also provide energy to other states and in turn help industries of these states to generate employment.
Energy minister Saurabh Patel said that this new policy which is being implemented by Gujarat Government will boost the development of pollution-free renewable energy and help accelerate the sector.
He added that this policy will take Gujarat forward in becoming the Energy Hub. If we look at the country’s history, Gujarat has provided an excellent opportunity to connect people in the field of energy.
This policy will enable everyone, be it residential consumers, farmers, commercial consumers, small and medium industrial houses, religious and educational institutes, to generate electricity and sell it after own their own consumption.
Important incentives announced under the new policy
* Any person 0r developer 0r consumer can set up solar projects as per his requirement without any capacity ceiling.
* Existing ceiling of 50% of sanctioned load 0r contracted demand for setting up solar project is removed.
* Consumers can set up solar projects on their roof 0r premises or can give their roof 0r premises on lease to the third party for generation and consumption of power in same premises.
* A group of consumers can set up solar projects for self-consumption as collective ownership project and consume the generated solar energy in the ratio of ownership.
* Security deposit to be furnished by developer to DISCOMs for PPA has been reduced from Rs 25 lakh per MW to Rs 5 lakh per MW.
* New solar power policy will be operative for 5 years i.e. up to 31.12.2025.
* Benefits of the solar projects set up under this policy can be availed for a project life of 25 .