Rooftop, CPP & Hybrid Projects Take Precedence in Gujarat Renewable Energy Policy 2023

Rooftop, CPP & Hybrid Projects Take Precedence in Gujarat Renewable Energy Policy 2023 Rooftop, CPP & Hybrid Projects Take Precedence in Gujarat Renewable Energy Policy 2023

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has released the Gujarat Renewable Energy Policy 2023. The Policy, whose operative period is upto 2028 or till notification of new policy (whichever is earlier), sets sights on achieving some big goals defined by the State and places a premium on solar-wind hybrid projects.

Goals Chalked Out 

The State will aspire to achieve 50% target of renewable capacity by 2030. It anticipates investments to the tune of INR 5 lakh crores and land utilisation of 400000 acres for renewable energy projects.  The State potential of 36 GW of solar and 143 GW of wind would be harnessed.

Push to Hybrid Projects

The policy promises various benefits, applicable for 25 years from date of commissioning or RE project lifespan. The projects covered under it include ground mounted solar, rooftop, floating solar, canal top solar, wind, rooftop wind, and wind-solar hybrid.

The policy makes room for the conversion of existing standalone wind or solar projects or those projects under construction into hybrid projects. At the same time, it will also pave the path for RE parks- solar parks, wind parks and wind-solar hybrid parks. RE projects may be set up on private land or government wasteland allotted by revenue department/ state nodal agency.

The policy imposes no capacity restriction for setting up of RE projects with respect to consumer contracted demand. By removing such restrictions, the policy encourages and facilitates the set up of large renewable energy projects. This should have a favourable impact on the renewable sector, particularly the C&I sector that can run their firm/s entirely on renewable energy. One can expect the acceleration of capacity additions following this.  Contrastingly, floating and canal-based solar projects are to be developed in consultation with government authorities, which could lead to delays in projects.

Push to Rooftop 

While the rest of India has been slow in the rooftop segment, Gujarat has been a shining example of expediting rooftop projects, thereby augmenting installations. In a new step taken by the State Government to advance the sector, no banking charges will be applicable on solar power consumed by residential consumers.

Upto July 30, Gujarat was the clear winner in rooftop with 1710 MW of residential installations.

Wind Projects Get Impetus Too 

As dictated by the policy, small scale wind projects can be installed by consumers on rooftops under options of net metering or gross metering.

With a view to push innovation and R&D in the wind sector, the policy also aims to facilitate WTG manufacturers & RE developers to install prototype WTGs. Repowering of WTGs will also be encouraged and there will be no cap on this.

Incentives will also be offered to offshore wind projects.

Captive Projects 

As per the policy, renewable projects can be set up for captive use, third party sale or sale to DISCOMs. Further, the removal of cross subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge on CPP projects will augment the captive segment. Thus, the C&I sector has another reason to celebrate with the savings that this wil offer.

The state govt may also allocate government waste land at concessional rates to RE projects supplying power to the distribution licensee for Gujarat consumers. In another relaxation, DISCOMs may procure power at prefixed levelized tariff without competitive bidding process from solar projects upto 4 MW & wind project upto 10 MW.

Policy Promises

By allowing a series of relaxations under the policy to DISCOMs, consumers and the C&I sector, Gujarat should see acceleration of projects and greater capacity additions.

Rooftop projects, hybrid projects as well as captive and rooftop segments stand to gain immensely from the provisions of the policy.

Coupled with the existing favourable policies, on open access, hybrid projects, captive hybrid projects, the recent announcements are a welcome move that promise more autonomy, reassurance, acceleration on projects to the parties involved.

Gujarat, which is already a favourable destination for investments and projects by C&I sector will further encourage the players to invest here with easier clearances and land allotments.

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