It’s raining subsidies for Goans – the state government has announced a 50% subsidy for producers and consumers of solar power in the state. The decision finalised by the state cabinet in the last week of January 2019 is expected to be a game-changer for the growth of the solar power industry in the coastal state. Well, there’s more to why everyone is happy about the announcement – the subsidy can be availed by one and all, whether their solar production is big or small. Now that’s like a happy solar state!
Goa state government is noted for its efforts to incentivize and thereby promote solar power in the state. As per the State Solar Power Policy 2017, solar consumers and producers were to avail interest-free loans covering 50% of the project costs. It is this policy that has been amended to offer the solar prosumers a 50% subsidy in place of the interest-free loan.
The subsidy will be borne by the central and state governments together. Solar prosumers throughout the nation can avail the central government’s 30% MNRE subsidy. It is to this subsidy that the state government also adds its own incentive. While the central government’s subsidy will be credited to the prosumer as per the guidelines set by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the state government will release its share once the solar power unit completes six months of its excess energy being released into the grid.
How will the exact amount of the 50% subsidy be determined? Whichever is lower of the three – the capital cost, the benchmark cost declared by MNRE or the cost ascertained through the tendering process by GEDA (Goa Energy Development Agency) – would be considered the base for the subsidy.
Other decisions by the State Cabinet
The 30% government subsidy for stand-alone power plants to be released by way of ₹1 for every unit of power generated is also being reconsidered. The amended policy assures that those who carried out the installation after December 21, 2017, is eligible for the subsidy and incentives.
Also, the State government has entered into a 25-year agreement with Solar Energy Corporation of India to purchase 25 MW power, as well as one with the NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam to procure 6 MW, in order to meet the Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (SRPO), under which the State Government is to meet the target of 150 MW of solar power by 2022 to meet its goal of overall energy security set by the Joint Electricity Regulation Committee (JERC). The energy target is ambitious indeed, but if supported by such solid measures in implementation, it is well within reach. What do they say about shooting for the moon (read SUN) and landing, at the least, on the stars!