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 Climate Change

Energy
Published on: July 13, 2021, 4:59 p.m.
Indian solar power scale building earns kudos from WB
  • Rewa is one of the leading solar production plants not only in India but also Asia

By Ritwik Sinha. Consulting Editor, Business India

Corona-led disturbances are likely to push the ambitious renewable energy target of 175 GW capacity of the Modi government beyond the targeted deadline of 2022. But a recent analysis posted by the World Bank on its website has appreciated the efforts of India in building scale in solar power despite several challenges.  

he note strongly underlines that Indian examples can be emulated in other countries while specifically citing the case of Rewa solar plant in Madhya Pradesh as a model case.     

“One of India’s flagship solar projects, the giant Rewa solar park, powers the New Delhi metro rail system: a network that serves over 2.6 million commuters daily,” it said while pointing at a host of government initiatives. “Vital government-led initiatives like 24x7 – Power for All, which are committed to providing each household access to electricity around the clock, are helping to empower communities – both literally and figuratively, improving the quality of life."

Rewa which has been cited as an example is spread over 1,500 acres of land parcel with a capacity of 750 MW. The facility at Rewa is one of the leading solar production plants not only in India but also Asia. Within India, it has been one of the leading plants of the initial phase of the big push to the solar sector and has a series of distinctions to its credit. 

It has been implemented by Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL), a joint venture between the Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikash Nigam Limited (MPUVNL) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and is known for extending all kinds of support to the private sector while inviting them to partner in the project. 

The project had grabbed the attention of all stakeholders in the solar power domain across the world when for the first time the per unit bidding price in one of its auctions had fallen below Rs3 in 2017. Since then, solar power prices have slipped to new lows in the new biddings in the country.    

While acknowledging that getting the solar power projects “off the ground is not easy” and it needs right policies, regulatory frameworks, adoption of new technology and encouraging private investment flow, the note underlines some of these elements successfully falling in place as evident in examples like Rewa.

 “In addition to providing this kind of support – from concessional finance to establish the solar parks in Madhya Pradesh to supporting enabling policies and bringing the private sector to the table – the expansion of solar in India offers key lessons to boost clean energy investments around the world.”

Out of the 175 GW renewable capacity target to be achieved by 2022, solar power is expected to drive the show with a capacity base of 100 GW by the given deadline. However, at the end of December 2020, the country’s stalled solar power capacity stood close to 40 GW. 

While there have been a host of serious issues (e.g., financial restructuring of several projects) which had emerged even before Covid outbreak and slowed the pace of capacity addition, the pandemic led lockdowns have also contributed to slackening of pace in the past one year. 


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