Maharashtra Cabinet clears non-conventional energy policy

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Wednesday approved a non-conventional energy policy 2020 which aims at an ambitious target of the development of projects with a generation capacity of 17,385 mw with an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore by 2025. Of the 17,385 mw, solar projects with 12,930 mw are proposed, wind (2,500 mw), cogeneration projects (1,350 mw), small hydro-electric projects (380mw), solid waste (200 mw), and 25 mw from new technology-based.

The government has proposed to provide five lakh solar power based agricultural pumps during 2020 and 2025 which is one lakh annually. Besides, 10,000 homes annually will be connected to solar power. The power will be supplied during the day to the farmers. The Maharashtra Energy Development Agency or MahaUrja will be the implementing agency for the non-conventional energy policy.

Registered companies, government agencies, partnership organizations, private, co-operative societies, farmers' groups will be eligible to set up projects under the policy. The MSEB Holding Company will select projects which will be developed with government equity participation or through subsidy.

Non-conventional energy projects are classified as transmission attached and non-transmission projects. Priority will be given to developing hybrid projects by incorporating storage capacity.

Projects registered during the policy period of 2015-16 will be allowed to register within 3 months. The benefit of incentives will be applicable if the project is implemented within 1 year from the announcement of the new policy.

All government, semi-government, etc. It will be mandatory to inform Maha Energy about all non-conventional energy programs implemented by departments, offices, institutions.

Funding will be available through Central Government Grants, Green Energy Fund, State Government, Special Component Scheme, Tribal Sub-Plan, Additional Electricity Tax on Sale, District Development Fund, MLA and MP Funds. It will be mandatory to get the approval of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board as per the prevailing policy as required.

The scheme will be implemented on a first come first served basis.

Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray said the policy will reduce the burden on conventional energy sources and increase the state’s energy generation in the years to come. "Sustainable development is the focus of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government,’’ he noted.

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