Renewable power journey in Rajasthan started with wind in 1999 having 2MW and the capacity reached 4,292 MW by March 2017. But since then the capacity has inched up to 4337 MW so far in 2020-21
JAIPUR: The recent focus on solar and lack of policy support has stalled the growth of wind power in Rajasthan with new capacity addition falling to 45MW in the past four years.
But the hybrid park policy can revive interest if RERC increases discoms’ renewable purchase obligation (RPO) from wind which has also stagnated over the past four years.
Renewable power journey in Rajasthan started with wind in 1999 having 2MW and the capacity reached 4,292 MW by March 2017. But since then the capacity has inched up to 4337 MW so far in 2020-21.
In the meantime, discoms in the state were procuring 7.38% of total energy needs from wind in 2016-17. But the share of wind power has remained even less than that in the subsequent years. In 2019-20, discoms purchased only 7.24% of the power from the wind against a target of 8.30%. Whereas, the RPO from solar has increased from 1.4% in 2016-17 to 5.97% in 2019-20 against a target of 6%.
“Of course the focus has shifted to solar in the recent years. But the hybrid energy parks that are aimed at generating both solar and wind are expected to give a fillip to the wind power. Even the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has increased estimation of wind power’s potential in Rajasthan to 127 gigawatt (GW) from about 18,000MW earlier. We need right policies, including for RPO, to expand wind energy’s footprint in the state,” said Subodh Agarwal, chairman and managing director of Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RRECL).
Agarwal said the assessment of potential carried out by National Institute of Wind Energy last year has put Rajasthan at second position in the country after Gujarat’s 142GW.
Experts in the renewable energy sector said that the state needs to promote both wind and solar. They said the hybrid park concept is the right strategy as it saves cost, maximizes resources and neutralizes risks that come when the focus is only on solar.
At one time, Rajasthan was the third largest wind power producer in the state after Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Tamil Nadu today has a capacity of 9,426MW and Gujarat 8,042MW. States like Maharashtra and Karnataka have progressed rapidly leaving Rajasthan behind.
After 2016, there have been no new tenders for wind power following the scrapping of feed-in tariffs and making bidding mandatory like in solar. The bidding regime discouraged developers as their margins were reduced significantly.
Source :- ET Energy World