With growing awareness about climate change, the renewable energy sector has been undergoing great changes, not just in India but all over the world. There is an increasing demand sustainable and clean power along with being affordable. In 2016 we saw the commission of thermal energy was less than that of renewable energy which was a refreshing change. Despite a disappointing budget in 2016, the renewable energy sector saw huge growths, where solar energy ruled the roost. There are many issues which the sector is facing still, including restriction of renewable power, payment delays for generators, lack of regulations, restricted transmission between regions and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Some of these will require long-term planning in order to resolve, while the other demands should be met in the 2017 Union Budget.
There is a dire need to develop new financial tools or schemes with an aim to reduce the risks which the renewable energy. The sector demands that there will be some incentives for State DISCOMs to procure wind energy, ‘Zero’ rate GST for WOEGs (Wind operated elec. generators), concessions for manufacturing sector which invests in wind energy and some export subsidies for it. There are many tools and features available in the market right now but they need to be made affordable which makes investors and developers wary of it. In order to make way for it, FM Jaitley should increase the last budget allocation of Rs 9,200 crore in public enterprises like IREDA and SECI, which help in the growth of the renewables sector.
Also, there should be a priority on the setting up of a green bank in India for the first time to further foreign investment into this sector at lesser rates.
There is also a demand on shifting focus to renewable energy to reach the country’s energy security and also that all hydroelectric projects be labelled as renewables too. There is also reportedly a demand on customs duty exemption on LNG imports, tax on furnace oil and petroleum coke to promote biomass and duty exemption for fly ash based products used in construction.