Punjab doing well on renewable energy front, says IREDA chief

Enthused by the rapid progress made by Punjab in the field of renewable energy, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) has decided to set up its first-ever sub-office at the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) building here, for helping finance solar power schemes.IREDA, which was granted the status of Mini Ratna by the Government of India earlier this year, has also lauded the state government’s efforts in promoting not just solar power, but also the use of biomass for generating renewable energy. Besides attracting huge investment in the solar power sector, the state is also drawing considerable interest in biomass-based power generation.At present, Punjab has solar power generation capacity of 250 MW and a biomass generation capacity of 62 MW. It proposes to increase its solar power generation to 1,000 MW by March 2017. The two-day Progressive Punjab Investors Summit that ended yesterday saw 12 solar power developers inking MoUs worth Rs 21,305 crore for setting up projects in the state.Talking to The Tribune, KS Popli, chairman and managing director of IREDA, said the reason why Punjab had managed to do well in renewable energy was that the state had good grid connectivity and distribution channels.“This has ensured that finance is easily available for setting up power projects. Since the tie-up with the state power utility (referring to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited) at a tariff decided by the state power regulatory commission is there, the banks are assured of getting returns on their investments,” he said.He said the state also needed to focus on biomass-based power generation as it would not only provide renewable energy, but also help in reducing pollution caused due to crop stubble burning.“Punjab is among the very few states that have a biomass policy in place. But the loose ends need to be tied so that biomass generation becomes more bankable,” he said.Minister for non-conventional energy Bikram Majithia told The Tribune that they had a plan in place to provide 50 per cent subsidy to 200 entrepreneurs for buying balers for uprooting biomass after the harvesting of crops. “We will extend this facility to more farmers in future,” he said.‘Has good grid connectivity, distribution channels’The state has good grid connectivity and distribution channels… This has ensured that finance is easily available for setting up power projects. Since the tie-up with the state power utility at a tariff decided by the state power regulatory commission is there, banks are assured of getting returns on their investments.  —KS Popli, Ireda Chairman and Managing Director

Source : Indianpowersector.com (TribuneIndia), October 31st 2015

URL : http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/punjab-doing-well-on-renewable-energy-front-says-ireda-chief/152674.html

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