On the last day of the two-day second Progressive Punjab investors’ summit, the state government on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the consortium of Beta Renewables, Novozymes and CVC India Infrastructure for building a Rs 950-crore bio-ethanol refinery in two years, which will make the state leader in the bio-refinery sector.
This will help solve the problem of paddy-straw burning that is injurious to soil fertility and the environment. Punjab renewable energy ministry Punjab Bikram Singh Majithia has been working on the bio-ethanol refinery project for the past one year. At the summit, 12 MoUs worth `21,305 crore were signed. The projects included 300-megawatt and 150-MW solar-energy plants by Neuron Power Solutions, a biomass power plant by Sukhbir Agro Energy, a 100-MW waste-to-energy project by AG Dauters Consulting, a 100-MW power-generation unit by Navrattan Group, a co-generation power plant by Indian Sucrose, and a 50-MW solar-power plant by Imperial Solution.
The promoters of K Krishnan Chairman CVC India Infrastructure proposed Asia’s first Rs 950-crore second-generation bio-ethanol-producing refinery, which will lead to building five more similar refineries with an investment of $1 billion (rs 6,534 crore). The delegates were informed that Punjab was all set for a “revolution in the renewable energy sector” because of “investor-friendly plan, unique rooftop net-metering policy, farmers’ inclusion, and panchayat land-lease policy.
Punjab targets having a renewable-energy-generation capacity of 5,400 MW by 2022, of which 4,200 MW will be solar energy. Punjab’s solar-power-generation capacity has grown from 9MW in 2012 to 218 MW in 2015 and the target is to take it to 500 MW by March 2016.
Inviting private investors, the state government said that the private-sector had put more than rs 4,000 crore into the clean-energy sector in Punjab over the past three years; and non-resident Indians (NRIs), besides leading foreign and Indian companies are interested in making investment. The figures came up during the brainstorming session on “strategies to make it renewable energy affordable, reliable and sustainable”: “global trends and success stories”; “enablers to unlock Punjab’s solar-energy potential”; “key challenges in scaling up of renewable energy production”; “encouraging use of renewable energy”, and “the role of the state government in increasing private-sector participation in solar-power generation”.
Prominent speakers included Indo-German Energy Programme deputy director Markus Wypior; US embassy energy officer Stewart Davis; Punj Lloyd Infrastructure business head Rajat Seksaria; Yes Bank corporate finance president Pawan K Aggarwal; and Indian Renewable Energy Development Authority chairman KS Popli.