Bengaluru: After the successful launch of a new solar policy, Karnataka is actively working towards the release of a new renewable energy policy, said Chief Minister for Energy, D. K. Shivakumar, addressing a group of MLAs at the Climate Parliament Core Group Meeting on “Karnataka Renewable Energy Scenario: Opportunities and challenges”. The minister said that during his tenure he wants to focus on renewable energy in general and solar energy development in particular.
The minister also highlighted the current challenges for the power sector, stating that Karnataka faces a deficit of 13-14% power supply and DISCOMs in the state still owe several crores to Karnataka Po KPCL. He further added that the State provides free power to farmers, and nearly 37% of the power is given to the agriculture sector. Lastly, he stressed on the key challenge of renewable energy financing in India stating that the lending rates are much higher here as compared to countries in the other parts of the world.
Mr. Dinesh Gundu Rao, Chairperson, Climate Parliament Karnataka Group and Minister of Food and Civil supplies Karnataka Government, spoke about the current status of the Renewable energy in the state. He highlighted that the state has a current installed capacity of about 14 GW and estimated potential of 30,000 MW. Mr. Rao further added that the new solar energy policy is a welcome move and the state should also come out with new renewable energy policy soon. He highlighted that the previous renewable energy policy released in 2009 included several provisions that have not yet been adequately implemented, in particular the single window clearance mechanism and the Green energy fund. He also emphasized on the importance of an energy committee in the state, mentioning that energy is an important factor in the development of a state and legislators can provide a significant contribution in shaping energy policies and plans.
Climate Parliament is a global network of legislators working to accelerate and promote sustainable development through renewable energy. The network has been active in Karnataka for the last one year and has about 25 multi party legislators. The Meeting was also attended by MLAs of the network, British Deputy High Commissioner, Ian Felton, and experts from Centre for Study of Science Technology and Policy (CSTEP) and SELCO.
The meeting witnessed an interactive session between the wizards, MLAs and the experts. Some insightful suggestions like utilization of wastelands for renewable energy projects and establishment of a Karnataka Renewable Energy Convention came up during the meeting. The Energy minister agreed with the suggestions of the Climate Parliament Karnataka network, which included establishment of an energy committee in the state and releasing a new renewable energy policy.