Assocham urges UP govt to develop three SEZs for solar energy

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Industry body Assocham today urged the Uttar Pradesh government to prepare three special...

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Industry body Assocham today urged the Uttar Pradesh government to prepare three special economic zones (SEZs) for solar energy development and try to encourage private players in the field.

"It is our suggestion that the government should make three SEZs and make all the facilities available there for solar energy development. The investors should be attracted and ensure that their investment is safe," Assocham General Secretary D S Rawat told PTI.

He said UP has a huge potential to become one of the hot spots for solar energy development in the country by evolving new business models and innovative technological and financing solutions.

Solar power generation offers an enormous opportunity for UP, driven by factors like strong policy support, higher sunshine, growing demand for energy and demand elasticity from declining solar module prices.

"The new government must create an enabling environment for prospective solar power developers by providing a single- window and speedy clearance to all solar projects, exemption from Land Ceiling Act, refund on stamp duty and exemption from electricity wheeling charges and others," he added.

It will not only support in addressing investors' needs but will help the solar power developers in harnessing substantial quantum of solar power in the best possible manner, he said, adding that a progressive solar policy can also help generate thousands of jobs across the state during the course of next five years.

Though India's true potential for solar power stands at an estimated 5,000 terawatt hours (TWh) per annum, solar energy represents a meagre three percent of installed capacity and generates about one percent of total electricity.

Apart from this, solar power accounts for just about 18 percent of India's total renewable energy installed capacity.

Off-take and grid connection issues, land acquisition delays, financing issues, project delays, high upfront costs together with low access to debt finance and perceived performance risk are certain key challenges being faced by India in becoming a global leader in solar energy space.

"Though the central government is making valiant efforts in driving development and access to electricity through renewable energy, India needs more capital at attractive terms in order to build this required green infrastructure, Rawat said.

"A public-private partnership based initiative will help identify, develop and accelerate innovative solutions essential to driving the country’s green infrastructure growth," he added.

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