Firms to pay if solar targets not met soon

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The top firms may face punitive action if they do not meet their solar power generation targets mandated under the renewable purchase obligations (RPO).

According to the RPOs, every company generating, consuming or distributing power has to ensure its nearly 9 per cent energy component came from the renewable or non-conventional energy resources such as wind, solar, hydro, biogas etc. The generation targets through various resources have also been fixed for them.

“The country’s shortfall in solar energy obligation is said to be 30 per cent. We recently wrote letters to top companies and state power authorities reminding them of their shortcomings on the RPO front and they must now improve on their targets,” said Tarun Kapoor, joint secretary of the ministry of new and renewable energy, government of India.

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According to Kapoor, by the year-end around 2,500 MW is the target set for solar power but only 1,100 MW capacity is likely to be installed. “Except Gujarat no other state has progressed up to the mark. Among companies Reliance Industries, Steel Authority of India and several others have to improve upon their captive renewable power generation targets,” he said, pointing out that certain projects were delayed due to shortage of heat transfer fluid (HTF) required for running turbines based on steam after heating water with the help of solar energy.

“India has achieved 1,044 MW capacity in 2012 compared to 10 MW in 2010. This trend will hopefully continue on, as more states realize the potential of solar power. As part of the next 5 year plan, the renewable energy capacity is set to be increased up to 55,000 MW from the current 25,000 MW. Out of this, 10,000 MW will be contributed purely by solar power. Though the industry feels that this is an over-ambitious projection, I am very confident that we will achieve more that 10000 MW solar contribution to over all renewable energy power supply.”

Kapoor added that, companies which have missed RPO targets over the last couple of years should be asked by the regulators to achieve them as early as possible.

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