GS Paper 3
Syllabus: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
Source: The Hindu
Context: According to the figures revealed by the Minister for New and Renewable Energy- only a fourth of the total sanctioned solar projects with a capacity of nearly 39,000 MW have been commissioned so far
Factors ailing the solar energy sector:
- Policy Constraints:
- Restrictions and/or ambiguity on provisions.
- Varying and ineffective regulations on net metering
- Infrastructural Constraints:
- Land constraints: e.g., high land prices, land ceiling limits, and complex land acquisition processes.
- Insufficient transmission facility: as the renewable source of energy generation is usually located in far-flung areas, insufficient transmission facility is also a major constraint.
- Storage issues
- Solar energy is not consistent and continuously dependent on the weather
- Financial Constraints:
- Unsustainable pricing
- Import Dependency:
- When it comes to solar modules, batteries for power storage and manufacturing other renewable energy systems, India is highly dependent on the import of these equipment
- Environmental issues
- The habitat of the Great Indian Bustard — a critically endangered species— has been encroached upon by solar power projects, particularly by transmission lines that endanger the bird.
Short-term and long-term measures:
- A uniform policy framework must be formulated, to apply to all states in the union for at least the next five years.
- Unrestricted access to net metering is vital to help the growth of rooftop solar, especially in the MSME segment.
- Augment Inflow of Low-cost Finance:
- Explore novel means to attract more streams of concessional finance such as Mainstreaming of green bonds.
- Stricter renewable purchase obligation (RPO)Enforcement:
- Pan-India implementation of renewable purchase obligation (RPO) for utilities and large consumers and strict penalties for non-fulfilment of RPOs.
- Introducing Plans to Improve Financial Health of Discoms.
- Reducing Cross-Subsidy Surcharge (CSS):
- Commercial and industrial consumers are currently levied an additional CSS, leading to higher-than-average electricity tariffs.
- Introducing Capital Subsidy for Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).
India has an ambitious target of installing 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power by 2022, which includes 100 GW from solar energy alone. (Also, a total renewable target of 500 GW by 2030).
Q. Explain the purpose of the Green Grid Initiative launched at the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. When was this idea first floated in the International Solar Alliance (ISA)? (UPSC 2021)
Prelims Link: UPSC 2022
Q1. Consider the following statements:
1. Gujarat has the largest solar park in India.
2. Kerala has a fully solar-powered International Airport.
3. Goa has the largest floating solar photovoltaic project in India.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2 only
(c) land 3
(d) 3 only