Renewable Energy in India is going through a mini crisis, with the government not meeting even 50% of its 2013-14 target. The abrupt changes in renewable energy policy, lack of RPO enforcement, high interest rates, lack of transmission, numerous laws and regulations etc. have led to the green energy market stalling. Some laws such as the TN’s SPO regulation have been struck down by APTEL, while the Gujarat state owned utility wants to retroactively reduce the feed in tariffs for solar power developers.
While funds and subsidies are issues for renewable energy developers in India, non-financial barriers such as lack of power connectivity, land acquisition, red tape are bigger issues. Lack of policy clarity and government support is also creating a slowdown in India’s Cleantech sector. Amidst all the gloom, one state that is managing to do really well in green power is India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh (which means central state). The government has attracted top solar and wind energy manufacturers and power utilities through a stable policy. The government is creating ideal conditions for easy land acquisition and helping companies avail subsidies through numerous central schemes such as RPO, JNNSM etc.
While companies are identifying the land, the government is supporting them in acquiring the land. This is a huge help for the companies as solar and wind farms require large tracts of land near transmission corridors. MP is a BJP ruled state similar to Gujarat, where the CM has won state elections for 3 times. Gujarat is the leader in solar energy in India and is making rapid strides in wind energy as well. Solar energy in Gujarat has stalled as the state has already exceeded its targets by a big margin. However, MP which is a larger state needs much more green power. MP has around 1.5 GW of solar energy and 2.5 GW of wind power projects. India needs the major states to really take the green movement forward. India does not have any alternative to green energy, given that it is hugely deficient in fossil fuels. Other states like TN and AP have also set out ambitious RE policies but lack of planning and structure has led to slow and intermittent implementation.