Parliamentary panel questions delays in approvals to solar park projects

Updated on Aug 03, 2022 05:37 AM IST

A parliamentary committee has expressed disappointment at the slow progress of the development of solar parks in the country and pointed out that 11 out of the 50 proposed parks are yet to get approval from the ministry even as they are supposed to be commissioned by this year.

The report also highlighted that the new and renewable energy ministry in its action-taken reply has said that it has granted approval for 50 solar parks of aggregate capacity of 33.80 GW as on December 31, 2021.
The report also highlighted that the new and renewable energy ministry in its action-taken reply has said that it has granted approval for 50 solar parks of aggregate capacity of 33.80 GW as on December 31, 2021.
By, New Delhi

A parliamentary committee has expressed disappointment at the slow progress of the development of solar parks in the country and pointed out that 11 out of the 50 proposed parks are yet to get approval from the ministry even as they are supposed to be commissioned by this year.

The parliamentary standing committee on energy, headed by Janata Dal (United) MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, in its report said, “The committee in their recommendation had noted that out of 50, 11 solar parks were yet to get approval of the ministry even after lapse of more than three years, thereby rendering the whole exercise of setting targets meaningless when ministry-level approvals took such an unduly long time.”

The committee was “disappointed with the slow progress made as the ministry had been able to fully develop only eight solar parks in more than 5 years (2015-20)”, the report, presented in Parliament on Tuesday, said.

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The report also highlighted that the new and renewable energy ministry in its action-taken reply has said that it has granted approval for 50 solar parks of aggregate capacity of 33.80 GW as on December 31, 2021. “Of this, only 8 parks have been completed with commissioned capacity of 6580 MW and 6 parks are partially complete with projects of 2,615 MW installed,” it stated.

The expansion of renewable energy is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to pursue green energy and reduce dependence on fossil fuel. At COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year, PM Modi had announced that India will achieve net zero emission by 2070.

The committee report highlighted that there has been “no increase in the number of fully developed solar parks since 2020 and therefore, 42 solar parks are yet to be fully developed when the original deadline of December 2022, is knocking at the door”.

The report further noted: “The ministry has neither furnished the reasons for delay in according approval to 11 solar parks at the first place, nor it has given any explanation regarding reduction in target at the level of approval itself.”

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The latest parliamentary report on renewable energy further pointed out that only nine Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSUs) had participated in 1000 MW CPSUs Scheme and only seven CPSUs/government organisations had participated in Phase-II of the Scheme. Asking the ministry to take pro-active steps to encourage more public sector firms to create solar parks, the report said: “The ministry has just provided the 14 updated data regarding participation of CPSUs in Phase-II of the Scheme, and no information about the steps taken by the Ministry to encourage more CPSUs to participate.”

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