Karnataka Issues Renewable Energy Policy 2021-26, Targets 20 GW of RE Projects

Karnataka Issues Renewable Energy Policy 2021-26, Targets 20 GW of RE Projects

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) has drafted the “Karnataka Renewable Energy Policy 2021-26” to strengthen the Renewable Energy markets in the state.

Being one of the leading States in Renewable Energy (RE) sector in the country with a RE generation capacity of about 15,037 MW, the KREDL has drafted the policy with a foremost aim to facilitate 20 GW of RE projects in the state. 

The focus of this policy is to advance the RE market development in the State and facilitate the Government of India in meeting the RE target of 175 GW by the year 2022. 

The policy has been drafted with its main Objectives: 

To facilitate the development of 20 GW of RE projects with or without energy storage systems in the state, including 2 GW of rooftop solar PV projects. The policy aims to achieve the RPO (renewable purchase obligations targets as specified by Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC). 

The policy caters to the development of Renewable Energy Parks including hybrid parks in the state, the development of wind-solar hybrid projects, and the development of floating solar including hybridization of floating solar with existing hydro stations. 

Focus Markets: 

Under the new RE policy, the state has focused on the development of nine key markets that are; green energy corridor, renewable energy parks, projects including solar, wind, solar-wind hybrid, energy storage, biomass, waste-to-energy, mini and small hydro, new initiatives, and pilot projects or research and development. 

This policy is focusing to bring more developments in these main markets including, large-scale renewable energy projects, solar, wind, or hybrid RE parks within the state, more grid-connected, Rooftop, or floating solar projects, more wind energy projects. This policy will also focus on the development of the energy storage market, new biomass, and new waste to energy projects. And it will continue to focus on the development of mini and small-hydro markets and to support new technologies. Additionally, the State government shall also encourage Research and Development (R&D) activities for the advancement of RE in the State.

Policy Measures & Incentives

The incentives provided by the Government of Karnataka for the markets focussed under this policy are; sale of energy, land acquisition, obtaining grid connectivity, project allotment, clearances, energy storage, and metering and connectivity. The policy seeks a smoother application of all the measures. 

Additional Policy Measures

Distinctly, the focus markets will also get additional policy measures. The state plans to encourage private sector investments and public-private partnerships (PPP) to improve transmission networks and green energy corridors. These will provide the evacuation needs of renewable projects, including renewable energy parks.

Also, Karnataka will promote RE parks under the PPP model or through private development by investing up to 50 percent of the equity as required. Solar power projects above 1 MW will be considered as MW-scale grid-connected solar projects. Projects will be allowed to be developed under the open access route to sell energy within the state.

Additionally, the state will promote rooftop solar projects under net metering and gross metering as per the KERC rooftop regulations. Independently, off-grid, distributed agricultural solar generation, floating solar, battery swapping, and charging projects will also be promoted.

The new policy further aims to develop new wind energy projects and the repowering of existing wind energy projects. Project developers will be allowed to develop projects under the open access route to sell wind energy in the state.

Under this policy, solar-wind hybrid energy projects, energy storage projects, biomass, waste-to-energy, mini and small hydro projects, and new projects will be given additional support.

Criteria for Land Allotment for RE Projects:

To set up, the RE projects based on various technologies, the maximum land area/space which can be allotted to the project developer will be 3 acres per MW for Solar PV Technology alone and with a tracker, individually. 2.5 acres per WTG for Wind, and 100 Sq. ft per 1 kWp for Solar Rooftop. 

The timeline for completion of the RE projects under captive/group captive and third party sale is 2 years for all solar, wind, Biomass and Waste to Energy projects. While for Mini and Small Hydro the timeline is 3 years. 

KREDL has invited comments/ suggestions from industry stakeholders, after which the policy when approved shall come into effect from the date of issuance and will be valid for five years or till a new policy is announced.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.