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Maharashtra Makes Strides Towards Increasing Clean Energy Generation

WRI India and CII launch initiatives to address policy, regulatory, and business models for renewable energy solutions in the state

20 January 2017, Mumbai:  Maharashtra has an ambitious renewable energy policy that targets 14,400 MW by 2020, including generation from solar, bagasse, small hydro, biomass, industrial waste, and hybrid with solar. Homi Daruwalla, former EVP, Godrej Group, outlined the policy, its targets, challenges and the interventions required for the state to meet these targets during the national Green Power Market Development Group (GPMDG) conference in Mumbai today. The conference brought together a diverse group of energy stakeholders including regulators, utilities, businesses, government authorities, and civil society in order to promote the growth of the renewable energy sector in India. 

MP Pujari, GM, Renewable Energy, Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, stressed that the state government is prioritising the generation of energy from renewable sources, and is the first state to establish a green energy fund that will finance transmission for renewable energy projects. The conference participants discussed the opportunities and challenges faced by the renewable energy sector in Maharashtra, including policy, financial and regulatory barriers, as well as successful case study presentations in solar PV and solar thermal by developers and end users.

Other speakers at the event included S Chandrashekhar, (MD, Bhoruka Power), K Nandakumar (Co-Chair, CII Task Force on Ease of Doing Business, MD, Chemtrols Ltd.), KN Rao (Director, Energy and Environment, ACC Ltd.) Vivek Joshi (Head, CCE, Tata Motors), Rajat Mishra (Sr. VP, Infrastructure, SBI Capital Markets), R Ravichandar (Principal Counsellor, CII-GBC), Deepak Krishnan (Manager, Energy, WRI India), Siddharth Malik (MD, Megawatt Solutions), Anish Rajgopal (Director, Chemtrols Solar), Ateesh Samant (CEO, IL&FS), Prasad Pendse (AGM, Maintenance, Godrej & Boyce), Varun Boralkar (Head, MSW Business and Incharge Strategy, Geocycle India), and Amol Dahat (Regional Manager, BD, Indian Energy Exchange).

GPMDG, a joint initiative by World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry Sohrabji-Godrej Green Business Centre (CII-GBC), is an industry-led initiative to scale up Indian green energy market by devising innovative approaches aimed at increase the share of renewable energy in the overall energy consumption of commercial and industrial establishments. GPMDG launched its Maharashtra state chapter at the CII Naoroji Godrej Centre of Excellence, Mumbai on 22 December 2016. The initiative is currently also active in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

GPMDG addresses the policy and market barriers that currently impede the growth of the renewable energy sector. The Maharashtra launch of GPMDG last month saw representation from Godrej group companies, Mahindra group, Vikram Solar, Indian Dairy Association (West Zone) and International Copper Association India amongst others.

Maharashtra is one of the powerhouses of the Indian economy. It is the biggest contributor to India’s GDP and has also outpaced the country in the year-on-year GDP growth, according to NITI Aayog, the premier policy think tank of the Government of India. The state has also seen tremendous industrial growth, at the rate of 8.78% (2014-15).

“In addition to trying to resolve policy and regulatory issues and helping stakeholders understand the renewable energy ecosystem, the initiative is involved in developing and scaling up innovative business models to help in increased uptake. GPMDG has experimented with aggregating demand for rooftop solar across a few companies in Bangalore and is currently working to understand and demonstrate demand aggregation for renewable energy at the industrial park level in Tamil Nadu” says Deepak Krishnan, Manager, Energy, WRI India.

KS Venkatagiri, Executive Director, CII-GBC summarised, “As a next step, the GPMDG will constitute sub-committees focusing on different technologies, policy initiatives and alleviation of barriers to industry adoption of renewable energy.  Members from the industry are invited to volunteer to lead these sub-committees and devote time in reviewing policy recommendations and participating in meetings with the utility & regulator. GPMDG also intends to focus on renewable energy promotion for small and Medium enterprises, and at the municipal level with special focus on smart cities and Special Economic Zones (SEZs).”

In 2017, GPMDG-Maharashtra will hold a series of meetings to work on the agreed tasks and report progress, working closely with the state government and other relevant institutions to help member companies set and achieve their renewable energy goals.

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