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India: New Policy in Waiting

New solar policy is to be announced anytime now from Government of INDIA, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM).

By Nilesh Patel

 

 

 

There are heavy rains, traffics and lots of rumors. I am talking about MNRE and JNNSM headquarter offices in India these days. Many companies are trying to get inside of this bureaucracy and try to find how and what would be done to crack the allotment nut, starting with what the new policy would be. As a mater of fact, it should be out by any moment now while I am writing this article. Apple is now perfectly ripened. Some companies for the sole purpose of making inside setting have opened offices around by paying exorbitant rents and appointing couple folks with only task to perform to sit down in MNRE or JNNSM office all day long and make relationship with the staff and get information as much as they can.

So what policy supposes to say? I cannot confirm whether this has any truth at this moment but some information says the brain in MNRE headquarters are thinking to take every application (should say Rs. 25000/-gift per application as this is non-refundable fees) right now as part of new policy. Take a closer look, inside the application they will be asking to provide three rates (Rs. 17.91 is proposed in the final draft) of KWh you wish to get as return of your solar PV or solar thermal project investment. Highest rate you would like to receive for your project to be very successful. Intermediate price which take little more ROI time but you would be okay with if you get allotment. And finally the knee bend down price, that is a must for you to invest in solar power generation field in India. No option left in price. Once all application is in, the government brains at MNRE start crunching this numbers to super brain of ministry and come out with lowest price that seems reasonable to them. Once they reach that decision, they will come back to every applicant and declare, and ask for fall in new lines who want allotment with this rate of KWh.

Second thing what everyone knows for sure, the gate of MNRE is already busting with crowd of to-be applicants whether they are locals, non-energy field businesses, multinationals, bigwig corporations, and many individuals like me. Once policy declared and MNRE start accepting application, if I head it right, it will not be open more than 15 days. To put things more complicated, the policy will come with such a complex requirement of filing, brand new or small applicants will just pass out for a moment. New policy may come with some intriguing conditions like the land ownership document to where you set up your solar power generation project. (It is impossible to get land in 15 days for even 5 MW of the project; even registry takes few days. Beside to get your name on records, In Gujarat, it takes 35 days minimum, other state might be worst than that).

Moreover to this as I wrote in my previous  articles there will be only 1,100 MW of allotment to be done as part of the first phase and that will to be given till March 2011. If my information is correct in the first part of the first phase, the government is going to allocate only 150 MW for solar thermal and solar PV. To be precise, the allotment might be given for 5 MW to 30 applicants. And on the top, there will be 60:40 ratio in allotment between solar thermal and solar PV. So consider yourself if you are looking in solar PV allotment. And there will not be any sure date for next part of first phase declared instantly. So every applicant needs to keep their finger crossed and wait for more allotments.

At the same time, I would also like to highlight that Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhatisgadh, Orissa, Haryana, Punjab, Maharastra, Karnataka... all are waiting for what is in new JNNSM policy. Once that‘s out, I believe it would be just minutes or hours or days for each stat to come out with own brand of state solar power generation policy.

 

Nilesh Patel is a project consultant for solar PV and solar thermal power generation. Patel owns Movya consultancy dealing in government liaison, PPA, allotment, equity trading and land banking (http://www.movya.com/).

 

 

For more information, please send your e-mails to pved@infothe.com.

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