Policy Roundup_ Important Solar Announcements by Government Agencies in February 2018

During the month of February, several important announcements were made by the government to facilitate the country’s transition toward a more sustainable future.

The following are some of the key announcements made by the state and union governments in the month of February for India’s renewable sector, especially solar:

National

The Ministry of Power issued an order stating that no interstate transmission charges and losses will be levied on solar and wind power projects commissioned up to March 31, 2022.



The fate of the Safeguard Duty case in the Madras High Court continues to be uncertain. After four hearings on the matter, the court has now fixed the next hearing date for March 2, 2018.

State

The state government of Maharashtra gave a go ahead to the Maharashtra Electric Vehicle Policy 2018. The policy aims at creating a feasible environment for the manufacture of 500,000 EVs in the state within the next five years.

The Maharashtra government also issued a new textile policy with a focus on the utilization of renewable sources of energy to cut down on overall costs. The government has also provided consumers with numerous energy subsidies.

The Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) issued an order directing all the distribution companies (DISCOMs) in the state to procure wind power according to the competitive bidding guidelines for wind projects provided by the Ministry of Power.

KERC proposed a tariff of ₹2.79 (~$0.043)/kWh for new, MW-scale, grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects developed in Karnataka.

The Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) removed the upper cap of 1 MW for rooftop solar projects in the state.

MNRE

A clarification issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) calls for small solar and wind projects to procure power through feed-in tariffs determined by the projects’ respective State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs).

The MNRE amended the guidelines for the implementation of the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) program to develop 5 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. More specifically, MNRE did away with a VGF program provision that required developers to use the Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) category for grid-connected solar PV projects.

The MNRE also issued an order stating that project developers will be penalized for the utilization of imported solar modules to develop projects under the DCR category.

Image credit: By Rsrikanth05 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons