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Source: The post is based on the article “Only one-fourth of sanctioned solar power projects took off, says Minister” published in The Hindu on 14th December 2022
What is the News?
The Minister for New and Renewable Energy has informed that only one-fourth of the solar projects sanctioned under the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects have been completed so far.
Note: India had committed to installing 175,000 MW of renewable energy by 2022 of which 100,000 MW was to be solar power. As of October 2022, 61,000 MW of solar power had been installed so far.
What is the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects?
Launched in: 2014
Nodal Ministry: Ministry for New and Renewable Energy
Aim: To help solar project developers set up projects in a plug-and-play model.
Key Features of the scheme: The scheme envisages supporting the States/UTs in setting up solar parks at various locations in the country with a view to create the required infrastructure for setting up of solar power projects.
– The capacity of the solar parks shall be 500 MW and above. However, smaller parks are also considered where contiguous land may be difficult to acquire in view of difficult terrain and where there is an acute shortage of non-agricultural land.
– The solar parks are developed in collaboration with the State Governments and their agencies, CPSUs, and private entrepreneurs.
Financial assistance: The scheme provides central financial assistance(CFA) of up to ₹20 lakh per MW or 30% of the project cost including grid-connectivity cost, whichever is lower.
What is the progress of the scheme?
Under the scheme, the government has sanctioned the development of solar projects with a capacity of nearly 39,000 MW. But only one-fourth of these solar projects have actually been commissioned so far.
The key challenges in the implementation of the scheme include: 1) hurdles in the acquisition of land with clear title, 2) a “mismatch” in the time taken to set up a project and the infrastructure to route the power produced to the grid, 3) environmental issues and 4) halt in economic activity due to COVID-19.