Gujarat mulls policy for solar power equipment manufacturing

gCHARANKA, GUJARAT, Apr 22: Having tasted success in generation of solar power, Gujarat is now mulling formulating a new policy for attracting investment in solar power equipment manufacturing space. “Gujarat is now looking forward to its next solar policy in the near future to support solar power deployment as well as attract investments in the solar manufacturing industry,” the state Chief Minister Narendra Modi said dedicating a 500-MW solar power park to the nation here. Realising the importance to combat the threat of global warming and energy security, Gujarat government had announced its solar policy in 2009, ahead of such a policy announcement by the Centre. The attractive feed-in tariff of Rs 15 per unit for the first 12 years and Rs 5 a unit for the subsequent 13 years had prompted corporates to set up solar power generation plants in the state. Now, the state has 605 MW installation capacity compared to 200-odd MW by the rest of India. Globally, solar power installation capacity stands at 67 giga watt (GW), including 27 GW added last year. “Gujarat has already met its target of 500 MW for 2014… this is only the first step and we will move ahead with the same rigour and momentum for deployment of solar power projects and become a global solar hub,” Modi said. Modi said the state is stepping up its solar power movement through a programme under which tiny plants would be installed in households. This would not only ensure clean energy, but reduce the usage of thermal power using coal. “Gandhinagar already has multiple installations of solar rooftop systems ranging from 1 kilowatt (kW) to 150 kW at more than 150 locations, aggregating to a capacity of 1.39 MW,” he said, adding that similar solar rooftop programmes will be extended to more cities like Mehsana, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Surat and Vadodara in the near future. The Chief Minister also said as coal and gas are becoming scarcer and dearer, India should take initiatives towards forming a league of nations on the line of OPEC for solar power. “There are different league of nations like OPEC and others. A league should be formed among the nations which get more sun rays. India should play a prominent role into the formation of such a league and step up its R&D to lead those nations,” he said. The Organisation of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an industry association for the oil and gas sector. Modi said he has already spoken to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need for forming such an association of countries and taking initiatives. (PTI)