Only six out of 29 states and seven union territories are complying with the central government’s Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) targets, a Greenpeace India report said on Wednesday. Under the RPO, states are suppose to achieve certain targets by ensuring that their power-share comes from green or renewable sources. In case the states are unable to produce enough renewable due to any-reasons, they buy Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) to compensate for the lag in the target. According to Greenpeace India, however only Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Meghalaya are meeting or exceeding the targets. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat, along with Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Punjab, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh are among the top laggards. The Greenpeace report, a follow up to a similar analysis in 2013, shows that nothing much has changed in the last four years in terms of states complying with the Centre’s or their own renewable energy targets.
India has an ambitious commitment of achieving 175 GW of energy through renewable by March 2022, of which 100 GW is solar and 75 MW is wind and other green sources. “Consistent non-compliance with the domestic targets reflects reluctance on the part of many state administrations towards the renewable energy transition,” said Pujarini Sen, Campaigner, Greenpeace India. The analysis also pointed out towards huge disparity, as on one hand, states such as Meghalaya have fulfilled over 200 percent of the target while states such as Manipur have fulfilled zero. “While Tamil Nadu is a laggard, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been performing well,” the study said. As per the findings the compliance percentages of some key states and UTs includes Gujarat (76.1 per cent), Delhi (5.5), Jharkhand (2.3), Jammu and Kashmir (14.3), Manipur (0), Goa (0), Bihar (12.7), Chandigarh (5.5), Uttar Pradesh (43), Uttarakhand (57.9) and West Bengal (55.6).
Greenpeace takes this disparity among the states as government’s and nodal agencies lack of intent, even as “the country has the potential and resources to fulfil the targets”. “A major reason for poor state performance is the lack of a penalty for non-compliance,” the report said. The analysis further pointed out that with solar and wind tariffs falling sharply, these sources are now cheaper than two-third of India’s existing coal power generation. “Replacing the most expensive coal power plants with electricity generated by solar and wind can save discoms and consumers up to Rs 54,000 crores,” says another analysis by Greenpeace.