By Shankar Sharma*
It refers to a news report that the central government is trying to acquire land for 500 GW green power projects. A few days ago, the recent amendment seeking to implement the Time-of-Day (TOD) metering system to optimize electricity usage across the country to reduce overall societal level costs was hailed as one of the best decisions. will be implemented to improve the overall performance of the country’s power sector in recent years. It was long gone.
The news-reported decision asking states to focus on land acquisition to achieve the 500 GW green power target by 2030 can also be considered as one of the worst decisions by the central government. It is against the interest of the environment and thus our people as a whole.
Such huge land acquisitions, spread over thousands of acres in total, cannot really green light such projects from a holistic perspective. Especially decentralized renewable energy (RE) projects like rooftop solar PV systems have huge potential in our country. They can also overcome many of the chronic problems facing the power sector today, such as a major reduction in the financial burden of the state, and lead to reduction of technical and commercial losses in power transmission and distribution.
Despite numerous articles, reports and opinions strongly advocating for the widespread use of rooftop solar PV systems, this is regrettable by the central government. No policy analysis paper has been released on why large-scale RE projects such as land-based solar parks are preferred. Observers in the energy sector tend to attribute the lack of clarity in the case of the Ministry of Energy to many undesirable vested interests.
Will Union Energy Minister RK Singh ask the officials of the Ministry and NITI Aayog to carefully consider all the issues related to this and issue a carefully prepared policy document along with the National Energy Policy?
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst. NITI Aayog Vice-Chairperson, Union Finance Minister, EF&CC Union Minister, Prime Minister with copies to Union Power Minister RK Singh, GOI, New Delhi, based on the author’s representation