Finally, A Future for Clean Energy

Finally, A Future for Clean Energy

Clean energy generation has received a big boost in the current Union Budget announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Several steps have been announced by our Finance Minister to promote renewable energy as a viable alternative to traditional non-renewable energy resources in the long-term.

Some of the important steps announced to promote clean energy include:

  1. An increase in the clean energy cess from from Rs 50 per tonne to Rs 100 per tonne of coal, peat and lignite. The cess is levied to fund clean energy projects and promote research on various aspects of renewable energy. The scope of research and promotion is expanded to include clean environment initiatives as well. After the said increase in cess, Coal India (CIL) may have to pay upto Rs 5200 crore in the form of clean energy cess if it meets the current year’s target for coal production. It is to be noted that Coal India (CIL) produces over 80 percent of domestic coal.
  2. Proposal for extending 10 year tax holiday for power companies by 31st March 2017 to attract greater investment in power projects.
  3. Proposal to allocate Rs 500 crore for Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Tamil, Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Ladakh in J&K.
  4. Allocation of Rs 400 crore for a scheme to provide one lakh agricultural and water pumping stations driven by solar power.
  5. A sum of Rs 100 crore set aside for 1MW solar power parks on the banks of canals.
  6. Implementation of Green Energy Corridor for evacuation of renewable energy in different parts of the country.
  7. Allocation of Rs 100 crore for “Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology” as a part of initiatives to promote clean energy.
  8. Proposal for allocating Rs 500 crore as part of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana for feeder separation to promote power supply and distribution in rural areas.
  9. Exemption of duties on materials and components used in manufacturing of solar photovoltaic cells and wind-powered generators.

These measures are likely to boost renewable energy sector and promote solar and wind power generation to take us one step closer to the goal of providing 24X7 uninterrupted power supply for domestic and agricultural use.