The Haryana government ushered in 2016 with a new Solar Policy which aims to add 4 GW of solar power by 2022 at the recently held ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit’, which was organised partially to seek fresh investments in the renewable energy, especially solar power sector.
On the last day of the Summit’, the state government unveiled the ‘Haryana Solar Power Policy, 2016’. The aim is to create jobs and growth through clean and green power that in turn would also help in mitigating climate change.
The Haryana government is seeking global and domestic private sector investment to fulfil its ambitions. Hence, its investor friendly approach towards solar development is no surprise.
To attract investments from private sector companies and entities, the policy exempts solar power projects from electricity duty and cross-subsidy charges. In addition, the state has also pledged to purchase 8 per cent of the power generated from solar projects which is 5 per cent higher than the national mandate of 3 per cent.
While this particular aspect would benefit all solar investors, this would be especially useful to small scale projects with 1-2 MW capacity each. So the government clearly believes there is opportunity for entrepreneurs to succeed in the solar space. This confidence is also evident in the government’s approach towards rooftop solar power systems.
Lack of land means to optimise solar power capacity, Haryana needs to capitalise on roof top solar projects. By removing the requirement to seek government approval before setting up a rooftop solar plant, the government believes would encourage homeowners and businesses to join the solar revolution. With guaranteed income from the state without tendering, it is an option that most likely would resonate with citizens and businesses alike.
The policy permits the sale of power to the Haryana government or to the third party without levying any charges and exempts solar power projects from any transmission charges. The transmission line for evacuation of solar power will be provided by power utilities free of cost.
The space between the installed solar panels could be used for commercial floriculture or horticulture related activities. Also the installation of agricultural solar powered pump sets will be promoted to meet water or irrigation energy needs. Again the government has incentivized the use of solar power pumps by dangling the carrot of excess power being purchased by the state.
The central government is also backing the state’s ambitions and India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal pointed out to delegates at the Happening Haryana summit that New Delhi has already approved a 500 MW solar power park in the state. The Haryana Energy Development Agency ( HAREDA) has been asked to prepare the project report. Mr. Goyal also reminded delegates that Haryana was the first state to deliver power to all of its citizens across urban and rural areas and expressed his confidence that the state will succeed with it’s solar ambitions.
The Haryana government, with its move to create a special purpose vehicle between Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), and Haryana Power Generation Corporation Limited (HPGCL) to facilitate the green projects has demonstrated its willingness to be innovative &flexible in terms of ensuring value for investors.
Haryana seems to be playing all the right cards to achieve its solar ambitions.