Budget 2023 has an innovative approach of linking a state's borrowing capacity with reforms in discoms' efficiencies, said N Ramesh, Deputy Managing Director, India Exim Bank at Business Today's "Scripting a Renewable Future" event on Friday in New Delhi.
At a panel discussion on "Decoding the future trends in energy transition", Ramesh also said that the sinking town of Joshimath is clearly an example of human’s high expectations, development and expansions. He said Joshimath is suffering due to high expectations of rail expansion and highways in the hill states.
“People in Delhi want to drive all the way to Badrinath at 100 kmph. It's these high expectations of rail expansion and highways in the hill states that led to a Joshimath crisis,” said N Ramesh.
Budget 2023 has an innovative approach of linking a state's borrowing capacity with reforms in discoms' efficiencies, added Ramesh.
About a month back it was reported that Joshimath is on the verge of disaster, as more and more houses have developed cracks, forcing residents to relocate to government-run relief camps. Joshimath, according to satellite images released by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), sank at a rapid rate of 5.4 cm in just 12 days, triggered by a possible subsidence event on January 2. Land subsidence is posing a serious problem for Joshimath, which serves as a gateway to popular pilgrimage sites like Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib as well as the popular international skiing resort of Auli.
Experts at the discussion while talking about the challenges faced in the renewable energy sector said that one of the major challenges are the sector is not getting enough investments. “Investments and technical assistance should come from outside as we have limited exposure to these things. But this process faces uncertainties in the market and imbalance created by the discoms, which impacts the overall investment programme. These issues need to be resolved on priority for a smooth flow of funds,” said Sunil Badesra, Country Head, Sungrow India Private Limited.
He added that many things have changed in the country towards the adoption of renewable power, like the solar tariff, which has drastically come down from Rs 18 to Rs 1.99.
“The lowest solar tariff is now Rs 1.99 per unit as against Rs 18 that was seen 5-6 years ago. This is remarkable,” said Badesra.
Other panelists at the event were Mohit Bhargava Executive Director (Renewable Energy) & CEO, NTPC Renewable Energy Limited, Anish Mandal, Partner, Deloitte India, Raj Kumar Roy, MD & CEO, AMPYR Energy, Shilpa Urhekar, National Head - Domestic, Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Limited.
This year’s Budget allocated Rs 5,331.5 crore for the solar power sector, including grid and off-grid projects. This was a 53.65 percent increase compared to the previous’s Budget’s Rs 3,365 crore and a 104.58 percent (increase/decrease) over FY21’s Rs 2,606 crore allocation.
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Rs 1,996.46 crore was allocated for solar energy under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme, which was launched in 2019. One of the components of the scheme is to install 17.5 lakh standalone solar agriculture pumps in off-grid areas, while another component aims to solarise 10 lakh grid connected agriculture pumps.
A few months ago, Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh said India would have over 65 percent of its power generation capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030. He also stated that the country has already 170 GW of renewable energy (including large hydro), while another 80 GW is under construction. India has planned to have 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
Meanwhile, the National Institute of Solar Energy received Rs 54 crore in the Budget, which was Rs 9 crore from last year's Rs 45 crore.
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