Tender and Policy Buzz India: MNRE Amends Benchmark Costs of Off-grid Solar Systems; Power Minister Unveils the Green Day-ahead Market and More

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MNRE Amends Benchmark Costs of Off-grid Solar Systems for FY 2021-22

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued ammendment in Benchmark costs for off-gird and Decentralized Solar PV Systems for the years 2021-22. The Ministry decided to amend the benchmark costs in light of the revised GST rates. Recently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council revised the GST for solar energy applications and projects. The rates were changed from 5% to 12% by the council. Because of these fresh changes in GST charges and such changes in future, Ministry has decided to issue benchmark costs for decentralized solar applications, without GST. MNRE has stated that the applicable GST rates may be added to the benchmark costs for the purpose of central financial assistance (CFA). For MNRE CFA, applicable GST rates may be added to these benchmark costs.

Power Minister Unveils the Green Day-ahead Market

Shri R K Singh, Union Minister of Power & New and Renewable Energy, launched the new market segment, Green Day Ahead Market (GDAM). “We are opening doors for renewable energy. In this new era of continuous reforms including the launch of GDAM, any interested party can set up and sell renewable energy,” Singh said during the launch. The launch will also provide competitive price signals, besides offering an opportunity to the market participants to trade in green energy, in the most transparent, flexible, competitive, and efficient manner, the Power Ministry said in a statement. “Benefits of free ISTS (inter-State transmission system) will be available for renewable energy and open access will be available within 15 days,” Singh said.

Jharkhand Govt Adopting Solar for Irrigation

The Jharkhand government said it is focusing on adopting renewable energy-based irrigation projects to boost income of farmers and curb their migration to other states. “The state government is installing solar-based lift irrigation facilities in the districts,” a statement issued by the state government said. Initially, the government is installing this facility in those parts of the state where water is not available throughout the year for irrigation due to inhospitable terrain, the statement said. With farmers at the centre of the development process, Jharkhand is working tirelessly to ensure availability of year-round irrigation facilities across the state. With solar-powered irrigation projects, over 6,000 families have already benefitted in the state.

Green Investment, Sustainability a Priority in Public Policy: Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Green investment and sustainability are a priority in public policy, Union Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Kumar Choubey said on Wednesday. He was speaking at a webinar on ASSOCHAM conference on Green Investment and Sustainability organised by the chamber. He spoke on various initiatives taken by the government to promote renewable energy, electric mobility, forestry, fiscal instrument design, and green growth plans. Government schemes and policies such as Swachh Bharat mission, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Smart Cities, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana and Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojana, among others, are all contributing towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals. “Both central and state governments continue to maintain economic growth by introducing and implementing various policies and measures relating to sustainable development, climate change, energy efficiency and air pollution,” the minister said.

India Expects Concrete Outcomes at COP26: Foreign Secretary

India is expecting concrete outcomes at COP26 on developed countries providing more financing and technology for tackling climate change since the country is well on its way to meeting targets set under the Paris Accord, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said on Thursday. “We are well on our way to meeting our NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) commitments and even doing better than that, ” said Shringla at a media briefing on Narendra Modi’s visit to G20 summit and COP26 meet. India has been “one of the best performers” in G20 as far as meeting the commitments of COP26 is concerned, said Shringla. In addition to commitments under the Paris Accord, India has made unilateral announcements that set much higher benchmarks, he added. The NDCs are long-term goals and they embody efforts by each country to cut greehouse gas emissions. Shringla said, “We are looking forward to a COP26 that would bring forth fair and objective discussions and a balanced outcome.”

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