Renewables, Deserted?

  • 29/04/2002

Renewables, Deserted? we are always the first to start. Invariably the last to finish. This is also, possibly, the story of renewables in the country. Way back in 1980, the government created the commission on additional sources of energy. In September 1982, the department of non-conventional energy sources was set up, and then in July 1992, it grew into a full-fledged ministry of non-conventional energy sources (mnes). India is the only country in the world to have a dedicated ministry responsible for implementing a non-conventional energy trajectory in India. Yet 20 years later, India produces just 3 per cent of the total installed capacity from renewables.

The renewable energy sector has always been the stepchild of power. Investments in renewables have been a niggardly 0.4 per cent of the plan outlay in the Ninth Plan. The government might argue that total outlay of mnes increased from Rs 1,465 crore in the Eighth Plan to Rs 3,800 crore in the Ninth Plan. But this increase is tiny when compared with the investment needed or the subsidies doled out to conventional power. The losses of the state electricity boards (sebs)

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