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Indian govt allocates Rs 400 cr for solar pump sets

Jul 15, 2014

The Indian Budget-2014 talks about harnessing clean energy through incentive-based cost reduction measures.

New Delhi: Giving a clear direction towards better execution of clean energy generation from coal, solar and wind, the Indian government has proposed to attain the same through incentive-based cost reduction measures.

Announcing the Budget, the Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allocated Rs 400 cr for solar power driven agricultural pump sets and water pumping stations. The allocation is likely to enhance domestic power generation from clean coal based technologies. It also expects to support domestic manufacturing base for the solar equipments as well as to bring down the cost of solar power.

While addressing the oil and gas sector, Jaitley announced a national gas grid with an addition of 15,000 kms of pipelines. He also announced some small measures to increase the supply of petroleum and natural gas in the country by speaking on the exploration and the production of Coal Bed Methane gas and exploring the possibility of reviving old or closed wells to maximize production using modern technology.

The budget also emphasizes on scaling up the use of PNG (Piped Natural Gas) on a mission mode.

India, being dependent on imports of 80 per cent of the total consumption of oil, will land into huge trouble as the devaluation of rupees has already increased the burden by 50 per cent. “The Finance Minister could have highlighted the objectives of attaining higher energy security, lowering environmental pollution and tackling global climate change through measures to attain higher energy efficiency, greater use of non-fossil energy sources”, says R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI.

The Budget specified that subsidies on petroleum and food will be target based. However, it misses out on concrete measures to tackle the loopholes in the PDS system and in deregulation of diesel prices. The Budget also misses out measures for clarity on the gas pricing policy.

Addressing the coal industry, Jaitley suggested the formation of an independent statutory Coal Regulator as part of the reform process.” The Coal Mines Nationalisation Act has to be reviewed and private coal mining should be allowed to ensure a free market for coal”, Jaitley stated.

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