Belgaum: A delegation of multiparty MLAs from Karnataka met with Shri Siddaramaiah, the Chief Minister of Karnataka requesting him to take steps to accelerate renewable energy utilization in the State to ensure energy access, energy security and sustainable growth. The MLAs submitted an Expert report and Memorandum on ‘RE Energising Karnataka: An Assessment of Renewable Energy Policies, Challenges and Opportunities’ along with Guidelines for Model Renewable Energy Policy in the State. The Expert report, commissioned by Climate Parliament and prepared by C-Step India is a comprehensive and up to date analysis of renewable energy policy and planning in the State.
The memorandum highlights some concrete suggestions and practical solutions to address many key energy and developmental issues for Karnataka. Karnataka is one of the top five RE- rich states in the country but in spite of having a comprehensive state RE policy ,the state has lagged behind other RE rich states in terms of RE capacity addition, so it becomes imperative to address these challenges in order to make Karnataka a front runner in the RE sector.
The Memorandum was signed by Food and Civil Supplies Minister Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao, Mr. Arvind Bellad, Mr. Priyank Kharge, Dr. Ashwathnarayan CN, Mr. B. A Moideen, Mr. Prasad Abbayya, Mr. P. Rajeev, Mr A Manju, Mr. H. P Manjunath, Mr. Shivanna B, Mr. M Rajanna, Mr. V. I. Patil and Mr. V. Sunil Kumar.
Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao, Minister of Food supplies and also Chairman of the Climate Parliament Karnataka Chapter, said “As one of the top five RE-rich States in the country with a potential of 30,000 MW, Karnataka has seen very little recognition of opportunities provided by this high renewables potential beyond that of meeting RPO targets. This report highlights the gaps and implementation challenges the RE sector currently faces and has made suitable recommendations which we hope the government will look into. It is important for the Karnataka to acknowledge the role of RETs in reducing its electricity deficit and agricultural subsidies as well as providing quality electricity services to currently under-served rural areas which will yield social and economic benefits.”
The Climate Parliament Karnataka Chapter has been highlighting the need for setting up a Committee on Energy in the Karnataka legislative assembly. This committee shall have a focus on the long-term plans, policies and initiatives on energy to give it a required direction and momentum that can upscale renewable energy deployment; as well as support the required institutional development for carrying out inclusive development in Karnataka, said Mr. Arvind Bellad, MLA and also Convenor, Climate Parliament Karnataka Chapter.
According to the Memorandum, there is a need to strengthen KREDL and streamline clearance procedures along with strengthening and upgrading grid infrastructure for renewable energy.KREDL should also link up with local government authorities and NGOs to form viable operational plans for off-grid RE projects .Land allocation and acquisition should be simplified and an attractive open access regulation should be established. There is also a need to revive and develop Biomass Industry. Promotion of low land footprint technologies like rooftop solar and waste to energy should be devised. Also a roadmap should be formulated for enhancing rural electricity supply and at the same time financial support from State- RE fund can be extended to rural regional banks and VAT can be discontinued for small-scale rural RET projects. The Memorandum also gives some suggestions on the draft Renewable Energy policy 2014-20.