Solar power sector gaining momentum in Karnataka

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According to a report, the solar industry in Karnataka is  gaining momentum ever since the government introduced a solar energy policy (2011-16). The government has recently concluded a bid process, in which 80 MW (60 Mw for solar PV and 20 Mw for solar thermal) was allotted to developers at tariffs between Rs 7.94 to Rs 8.50 per unit for solar PV and Rs 10.94 and Rs 11.32 per unit for solar thermal projects.

According to the report, Karnataka is the only state to have supported solar projects under the REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) mechanism. Close to 950 MW of project proposals have been submitted to Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL), which are under different stages of implementation like preparation of DPR.

The report stated that with minor changes in the policy framework, Karnataka may join the top three states in terms of annual wind capacity additions. Large untapped wind potential and above average wind profile are the key factors, which will attract investor in the states. It has been observed that the wind velocity in Karnataka ranges from 0.85 m/s.

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Among the states in India, Karnataka has one of the highest potentials for renewable energy. Thermal and hydro have been the main sources of electricity in the state. Currently, renewable sources are contributing to around 24 per cent of the state’s installed capacity.

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