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India considers guidelines to encourage companies to shift to RE: RK Singh

RK Singh, Union Minister of Power (IC), Govt. of India

India is in process of setting up guidelines that will encourage companies to shift entirely to renewable power, a key step toward decarbonizing the nation's fossil fuel-dominated economy.

The new regulations will permit companies to purchase renewable electricity from state distributors at "green tariffs," Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh said at the virtual BloombergNEF summit. Hurdles for businesses pursuing to buy clean power directly from generators will also be relieved, he said.

Fast-tracking use of clean energy in offices and factories, the largest power-consuming segment in the country, will be vital to accomplishing targets to cut emissions per unit of the GDP. It will also help the companies improve their environmental, social, and governance -- or ESG -- scores by decreasing their carbon footprint.

Those opting for green power will be permitted open access -- when they aren't tied down to the local distributor -- within 15 days, instead of having to wait for months, Singh said. That would force state utilities to either meet the demand or risk losing their high-value customers.

Offshore Wind

India will encourage offshore wind projects to get to its 2030 goal of 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity, a near fivefold expansion from existing levels. That would include 280 GW of solar and 140 GW of wind capacity, the minister said.

Singh mentioned the scarcity of land as one of the challenges for ramping up wind power and said offshore projects will help deal with the issue. The cost of such projects will primarily be high and the government is discovering capital subsidies to help developers, he said.

India will fall short of its renewable capacity goal of 175 gigawatts by the next year due to "some interruptions," Singh said, possibly linked to the pandemic. The country has had to extend deadlines for renewable projects due to complications in importing equipment and getting workers at construction sites. 

Author : Moulin Oza
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