Slow Progress On Solar Parks Irks Ministry

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Inefficient solar park projects are set to face strict scrutiny from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). According to two anonymous sources from the ministry, some solar parks may even face cancellation notices. This will be done after a status review of the solar parks allocated by the government to various developers. “The government may examine the parks which have not done very well… and also look at whether we want to discontinue those to free up abilities,” one of them said.

Lately, the ministry told the parliament that 61 solar parks with 40GW capability were approved till mid-year. These were allocated under the ‘Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects’ programme. But unfortunately, only about a fourth of them had been commissioned. At the same time, the parliamentary committee on energy conveyed its disenchantment over the slow progress. Against the target of establishing 50 solar parks by the end of 2022, our country saw the development of only eight such parks during 2015-2020. We have a set target to achieve a solar energy capacity of 280GW by 2030. 

Solar Power Park Developer (SPPD) brings in various stakeholders to set up a park. These include entrepreneurs, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and States. At a solar park, energy from the sun is harnessed at a large and concentrated scale, with several projects running. The resulting efficiency and productivity make the park better than individual solar projects. Moreover, these are also exempted from environmental impact assessment. The process entails location identification, equipment selection and purchase, support structure setup and installation. The developers look at the availability of adequate amenities and infrastructure while reducing the project risk. As the climate crisis is unfolding throughout the globe, renewable energy is set to remain inevitable.


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