In keeping with the Centre’s agenda of pushing for green energy, the Maharashtra government is planning to increase power generation from sources such as wind and water by 14,400 MW in the next five years.
The policy prepared by the energy department is expected to be passed by the state cabinet on May 12.
At present, Maharashtra generates 6,155 mega watt (MW) of power from unconventional sources of energy.
The main hurdle in power generation from non-conventional sources is the high production cost, and to minimise that, the government has planned to provide land for it at cheaper rates. Industrial houses will be encouraged to generate green energy for their use, and will be allowed to transmit it through the state’s grids.
“The present cost of energy generation from unconventional sources is Rs5.71 per MW, much higher than coal-based generation, which comes to Rs3.25 per MW. Our aim is to bring it down to Rs4.50 per MW. Major part of this energy will come through captive generation mode [power generated for their own use] by industrial houses. They will be provided with incentives such as environmental clearances and lands at cheaper rates,” said energy minister Chandrashekar Bawankule.
The energy draft policy that came before the cabinet for approval this week was deferred because of differences over power generation from solid waste. “Though the Supreme Court has stated power generation from solid waste should be the urban development department’s responsibility, the department has no mechanism in place for the transmission of the power. We need to look into that,” said Bawankule.
Distribution companies will be helped too
Under the renewable power obligation, 9% of power transmitted by distribution utilities such as Reliance and Tata Power is supposed to be from non-conventional sources of energy. At present, they struggle to meet this target, as the state does not generate enough green energy for them to distribute. The increased power generation will help them meet the target.