Renewable energy in its various forms is essential to combat global climate change, ensure energy security and provide access to clean energy for the poor. For a developing country like India with little historical climate change responsibility and extensive energy poverty, it is important to ensure a balanced policy that considers reasonable financial impact on consumers and tax payers to support large grid-connected RE and at the same time, promote robust decentralized RE solutions.
India has witnessed more than 20 percent year on year growth in renewable electricity generation capacity over the last five years, which includes wind, small hydro, biomass, sugarcane cogeneration, waste and solar. Although the growth of India’s RE sector is impressive, it has been plagued with governance issues from lack of transparency in cost numbers while setting preferential tariffs to an absence of effective monitoring of generation plants to prevent use of fossil fuels in place of RE resources. Prayas has highlighted these governance issues through publications and Regulatory interventions.
Prayas has been analyzing the different policy mechanisms that have been adopted to promote RE development – feed-in or preferential tariffs, renewable power purchase obligations and renewable energy certificates. In 2010, the Central government of India began to push for large-scale solar power development through the National Solar Mission by setting a target of 22 GW by 2022. Although the bulk of the subsidy and targets are for grid-connected solar, it is robust decentralized RE solutions that can make a large social impact by providing access to clean energy to the poor till reliable grid electricity is made available. Prayas has been providing critiques of the policies under the National Solar Mission, for both grid-connected and off-grid solar development.
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