India’s solar power generation capacity would nearly double to 22 GW by the end of current fiscal and more wind power auctions would be conducted in the coming months, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said today. India has set ambitious target of having 100 GW of solar energy and 60 GW of wind power capacities by 2022. “Solar Power generating capacity would be around 22 GW by the end of this fiscal (from over 12 GW at present),” Goyal told reporters here after releasing a report on integration of renewables in the electricity grid. On wind power, he said: “The auction has already been conducted for 1 GW where tariff has come down to Rs 3.46 per unit (earlier this year). One tender for another 1 GW is also in process, which would be completed soon. The bidding activity would also continue in coming 3-4 months and it would get the same encouragement as in case of solar.”
Earlier last month, solar power tariff had dropped to all time low of Rs 2.44 per unit in the auction conducted for Bhadla solar park. ACME Solar Holdings had emerged as the lowest bidder by quoting Rs 2.44 per unit tariff for 200 MW followed by SBG Cleantech One at Rs 2.45 per unit for 500 MW capacity. Similarly, the 1 GW wind power auction also evoked good response as the tariff dropped to Rs 3.46 per unit in an auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corp (SECI). Goyal said: “It is time for the people of India to get ready and embrace the change with a ‘New Mindset’ of a ‘New Grid’ for a ‘New India’, which is ready to integrate large amount of renewable energy.” The minister had yesterday told reporters after a roundtable with hydro power producers that government will soon bring out a hydro power policy to revive the stalled projects.
Asked about peaking power policy where instead of load shedding, the discoms can supply power at higher tariff than contracted rates during peak hour, the minister had said, “There is no peaking power policy on the unveil.” On stressed power plants of Tata, Adani and Essar that run on imported coal, he had said: “There was a lot of constellation about what would happen to these plants and to the availability of low cost power to some other states. Nothing has come out as yet. “I had suggested that these imported coal based plants may also look at technical solutions to try to use more domestic coal because under SHAKTI scheme we would soon come out with a policy which will allow import based coal based plant to bid for domestic coal.”
There was a buzz that Gujarat government did not want to take over majority stake at these plants being offered to the state at just Re 1, because of political reasons. Gujarat will go for assembly poll by this year-end. Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam sources confirmed however that the proposals of these power producers are still under consideration.