India would take its new and renewable capacities to 54000 MW by 2017, the terminal year of the 12th Five-Year Plan, said Gireesh B Pardhan, secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Currently, the country has a capacity of around 27,000 MW of renewable energy.
India produced solar energy at an average tariff of Rs 18 a unit in 2009, which now stands at Rs 7.40 per unit, Pardhan said at an industry event organised by FICCI. “The fall in tariff for solar energy witnessed in such a short period has encouraged policy makers to explore greater possibilities to harness solar energy at a faster pace,” he added.
On the other hand, the country is not in favour of a proposal for setting up of a SAARC Regional Grid to cement energy co-operation among the member nations. The secretary said, “These countries should strive to build blocs for bilateral cooperation with the adoption of a bottom-up approach rather than seeking to establish a SAARC regional grid which seemed impractical.”
In July 2004, the SAARC endorsed the concept of an ‘Energy Ring’ of interconnected energy systems in the region.