RE in Maharashtra – progressing but crawling towards potential

Posted on April 4, 2011 by

Maharashtra continues to face power shortage. While Jaitapur nuclear plant may be witnessing opposition from locals, a recent economic survey of Maharashtra presented at the state legislature says that only 2,936 MW out of total 8,655 MW renewable energy potential has been tapped. Exploiting this potential, with an expected investment of around Rs. 30,000 crore can significantly reduce the supply-demand gap.

Maharashtra’s potential in Renewable Energies is around 8,655 MW. This is composed of 5,439MW in wind, 733MW in small hydro, 1,250 MW in Bagasse based cogeneration, 781 MW in biomass-to-power, 287 MW in urban waste to power and 165 MW in Industrial waste to power.

While Maharashtra ranks second in installed wind energy capacity, there are no projects commissioned to generate power from urban waste and only 11 MW out of 165 MW possible for industrial waste to power have become operational.

Ranking second in the country, as of December 2010, the installed RE in Maharashtra consisted of 2,194 MW of wind energy, 227 MW of small hydro, 367 MW of bagasse-based cogen and 137 MW of biomass to power. The RE base though growing, rate of growth remains a point of worry. Maharashtra added 193 MW between 08-09 to 09-10 and 229 MW between 09-10 to 10-11 (upto December 10).

Among the RE projects, Of particular interest are the 1 MW grid connected solar PV project at Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS) premises in Vidarbha. It is also approved to set up another 4MW solar PV at the same location. The state power generation company plans to set up 125 MW solar power project at proposed solar and wind energy park at Sakhri in Dhule, presumably to meet its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO). Achieving financial closure on a project of never-before-scale such as this is going to be an interesting challenge.

A hydro policy has been recently formulated to boost participation of private developers in the development of small hydroelectric projects in the state. This policy has enabled seven small hydro-electric projects, adding 74 MW of capacity. These projects are developed by Shri Tatyasaheb Kore Warana Sahakari Navshakti Nirman Sanstha Ltd. Part of this capacity has been registered both under CDM and REC framework.

It will be worthwhile to see if the REC Mechanism is able to accelerate the development of RE – across technologies.


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