Punjab recently inked memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth Rs 13,500 crores for investment in solar projects besides setting up of five bio-ethanol plants worth Rs 6,000 crores in Punjab at the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and Expo in New Delhi.
Among the MoUs signed included one for 500 MW ground based power plants with an investment of
Rs 4,000 crores by 8-Minute Energy, California, 100 MW Solar power projects with an investment of Rs. 800 crore by Progetika-SRC, Italy, 300 MW canal based solar power plants with an investment of Rs 2,400 crores by Lightsource Renewable Development Ltd. UK, 200 Mw Solar power project with an investment of Rs 1,400 crores by PLG Energy Systems, Rs 900 crore Solar/Biomass complex by Spray Engineers, Mohali besides R&D/Training/Technological development collaboration between British Photovoltaic Association, UK and PEDA.
Punjab's New and Renewable Energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia also finalised a MoU with CVC India Infrastructure, Italy for establishment of five bio-ethanol based refineries based on paddy straw, napier grass and cotton stalks at a cost of Rs 6,000 crores. CVC officials said they intend to commence commercial production by December 2017 for the first bio-refinery.
Majithia during interactions with investors today appreciated the commitment of Lightsource Renewable Development to come up with appropriate technology for a canal based solar project utilising the space available on canals from a width of fifty meters to five meters. He said there was a huge potential for canal based projects as the total canal length in the State ran up to 5,000 kilometers.
He also mooted a proposal to set up floating solar panels on 22,000 acres of reservoir of the Ranjit Sagar dam. He said this project alone could result in harnessing of 2,000 Mw of solar power. Lightsource officials said they had established a floating solar park in England and would undertake a study to replicate the same at Ranjit Sagar.
In order to encourage net metering, the minister also discussed with investors to establish pilot net metering projects to demonstrate to individual household owners the profitability of establishing rooftop solar panels.
He also stressed on the need to lay more stress on bio-mass power. Stating that this potential had not been harnessed at all, the minister said in Punjab alone 20 million tonnes of agriculture residue was being burnt every year. Urging the policy makers to come up with a revised tariff for bio mass projects, Majithia said this was important so that farmers could also earn an additional income. "Economies of scale will reduce the tariff rates progressively as has happened in the case of solar power", he added.
Source: Business Standard
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