Thursday, September 19, 2013: The Planning Commission has constituted a task force spearheaded by member (Energy) B.K. Chaturvedi to supervise efforts to encourage production of solar energy. Last week, the panel held its first meeting. It comprises officials from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the Ministry of Power and the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), and few others. It is a 12-member committee, which also has members from industry bodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). As of now, solar power contributes below 0.5 per cent of India’s energy mix.
The governments wishes to increase this figure from five to seven per cent by the year 2022. The terms of reference of the committee specifies that it is expected to recommend policy interventions for the purpose of improving domestic manufacturing of solar energy products. It also entails suggesting measures for increasing availability of cost-effective finance for solar manufacturers and developers.
The task of the committee involves ensuring effective implementation of the renewable energy certificates mechanism along with ensuring involvement of state governments for solar capacity development. Chief Marketing Officer, Vivek Chaturvedi stated that the committee has been constituted at the right time. “It is brilliant on constitution with all the right ministries and industry bodies being part of it. We need to have a thriving domestic manufacturing industry to achieve energy security and help save on foreign exchange,” he said.