In a groundbreaking move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy future, the Rajasthan State Government has unveiled the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Policy, 2023. This visionary policy is designed to tap into the vast potential of renewable energy sources, particularly solar and wind power, and drive their integration into the state’s power grid. The policy sets the stage for a new era of clean energy production, reducing the dependence on fossil fuels and aligning with national and global efforts to combat climate change.
Rajasthan is blessed with an abundance of renewable energy potential. According to assessments by the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), the state’s wind power potential stands at an astonishing 284 GW at a height of 150 meters. Simultaneously, the National Institute of Solar Energy has identified Rajasthan’s solar potential at an impressive 142 GW. With such abundant resources, the state is poised to become a leader in renewable energy production in India.
Under the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Policy, the state government has set ambitious targets to be achieved by 2029-30. The policy aims to develop a total of 90 GW of renewable power projects, with solar energy constituting 65 GW, wind and hybrid sources contributing 15 GW, and 10 GW coming from hydro, pump storage plants (PSP), and battery energy storage systems. These targets underline the state’s unwavering commitment to the expansion of renewable energy sources.
To ensure the seamless integration of renewable energy into the state’s grid, the policy mandates that state distribution companies (DISCOMs) purchase renewable energy following the Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) determined by the Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC). This measure will not only drive demand for renewable energy but also incentivize investment in green power projects.
The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Policy encompasses a wide range of initiatives aimed at promoting the adoption of renewable energy.
The state government is committed to facilitating the installation of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar power systems. It plans to transform district headquarters and key areas into “Green Energy Cities” by deploying solar rooftop systems. Additionally, grid-connected rooftop PV solar power plants under net metering arrangements will be permitted, with DISCOMs allowing solar rooftop capacity additions of up to 50% of the capacity of the distribution transformer in the area. Government buildings can also host rooftop solar power plants under the RESCO (Renewable Energy Service Company) mode.
In addition to its robust support for solar power, the policy extends its support to wind power projects, both for sale to DISCOMs and for captive use within the state. It encourages wind-solar hybrid power projects, offering a harmonious combination of wind and solar energy generation for better grid stability.
The policy also recognizes large hydropower projects (LHPs) and pumped storage projects as renewable energy sources, further diversifying the state’s clean energy portfolio.
Recognizing the importance of transitioning to clean transportation, the policy promotes the use of renewable energy for charging electric vehicles (EVs). Charging infrastructure will adhere to guidelines and standards set by the Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority, with charging stations potentially including on-site renewable energy generation.
Furthermore, the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Policy aims to promote the development of renewable energy parks through joint ventures with private developers. The state government will invest up to 50% equity in these ventures, with the cost of land provided by the government considered part of its equity participation.
The Rajasthan Renewable Energy Policy, 2023, represents a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to transitioning the state towards cleaner and sustainable energy sources. With its ambitious targets, support for a wide range of renewable energy initiatives, and a commitment to green transportation, Rajasthan is poised to become a frontrunner in India’s renewable energy landscape. The policy not only contributes significantly to the nation’s efforts to combat climate change but also promotes sustainable development and economic growth within the state.
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