Govt fails to utilise chunk of Rs 600cr set for green energy

Under the 11th Five-year plan, about Rs 600 crore, which is about 5.76 per cent of the total allocation of Rs 4,000 crore to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the plan period, was set aside for R&D activities.

However, even after the end of over half of the Plan period, a meagre Rs 66 crore out of the total amount has been spent on research and development of renewable sources of energy, a ministry official said.

Moreover, the official said, out of the Rs 58 crore allotted for this fiscal, about Rs 33 crore has been spent in the April-July period for the stated purpose.

In the first two years of the plan period, ie, 2007-08 and 2008-09, the Ministry has spent only Rs 17 crore and Rs 18 crore, respectively.

The Ministry had asked the Planning Commission for a budgetary allocation of Rs 10,400 crore for the plan period, of which only Rs 4,000 crore was allotted. Of this only Rs 1,062 crore has been spent so far by the ministry.

Even with such a track record in utilising the sum on R&D in the field, the ministry has set a target to double the power production from renewable sources in a decades time.

The country produces 9.8 per cent of its total power output from renewable sources at present. The government has targeted to produce 20,000 MW from solar energy under the the 'National Solar Energy Mission by 2020.

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