The Assam Energy Development Agency (AEDA) has invited proposals from independent institutions and organizations to set up a research and development (R&D) facility in the state. The facility will be in the field of renewable energy and will be supported by the Science and Technology Department of the Government of Assam.
The last date for submission is October 12, 2018.
The proposal should elaborate on the proposed areas of activities to be taken up in next three years along with strategy for propagating and field testing. It should be accompanied with budgetary estimate for three years with quarterly and annual breakup. The institution or the organization should have their own infrastructure. Institutes with national and international in the field of renewable energy particularly in solar energy, bio energy, small and pico hydro energy, wind energy, energy storage as well as new technology will be preferred. Apart from basic R&D, more than 40 percent of the activities should be related to regional benefit and up scaling regional resource utilization.
Currently, National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE) and National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) are two autonomous R&D institutions under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India.
This step towards setting up a research and development infrastructure in the field of renewables will also help the state in achieving its aspiration of 100 percent electrification. Assam has been gearing up to provide electricity to every household in the state. Recently, the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojna (SAUBHAGYA) program was launched in Assam.
Assam is one of the least developed states in the country when it comes to solar. While various states have made considerable progress in the past few years in terms of installed solar capacity, this northeastern state is yet to make any significant progress.
According to Mercom Solar Project Tracker, total solar installations in Assam currently stand at mere 0.5MW, whereas, 100 MW projects are under development phase.
In January 2018, the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) tendered a total of 100 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects to be developed in the state. Then in February 2018, the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) tendered 70 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that are set to be developed in the Amguri Solar Park in Assam’s Sivasagar district.
Garima is a staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering renewable energy news. Prior to Mercom, Garima worked as a journalist with The Times of India and The New Indian Express. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and PG Diploma degree in journalism from the Times School of Journalism.