Cost is a critical element in the growth of renewable energy. Currently, renewable energy production in India is heavily subsidised. The government provides subsidy to promote the use of clean fuel. However, dependence on subsidy is not sustainable. The companies and organisations must innovate to bring down the cost. Madhya Pradesh has shown the way.
Manu Srivastava, Principal Secretary & Commissioner, New and Renewable Energy Department, Madhya Pradesh, said due to innovation and competitive bidding the cost of solar power supplied to several institutions in Madhya Pradesh including colleges and hospitals have come down to Re 1.38 per unit. This is significantly lower than around 4 to 5 rupees per unit of cost in other parts of the country. All these costs include the government subsidy.
Madhya Pradesh introduced ‘Decentralised Renewable Energy Policy’ in 2016. The new policy seeks to provide support to rooftop solar, small scale wind, small biomass project or their combinations that can be installed in a consumer premise.
Srivastava said the main objective of the new policy is to expand the output and reach of renewable energy in the entire state. Rural areas, which are still not connected with grid or where grid supply is unreliable, can be powered through off-grid renewable energy based solutions, while urban consumers can reduce their electricity bills by adopting a cleaner source of energy on their rooftop. Solar rooftop systems can be installed in off-grid and grid connected mode.
“The advantage of permitting multiple categories is that it attracts different sets of consumers with different expectations,” he said.