State eyes 2,000 MW solar power by 2020

State eyes 2,000 MW solar power by 2020

 The Karnataka government on Wednesday said it would be able to harness at least 2,000 MW of power from the solar sector by 2020.

“... we are trying to give a projection that by 2020 we should be able to harness at least 2,000MW of power from the solar sector,” Principal Secretary to the Department of Power, Amita Prasad, said while addressing a session 'Doing Business Within Karnataka' here.

“... we are bringing out a new energy policy on the solar aspects of it,” she said.
Stating that the government is going in for a revision despite having a policy in place, she said that there is lot of potential for investment in solar parks and the state government is “looking into both grid and non-grid of non-renewable energy”.
The state has lot of potential for wind energy and there are more than 900 projects which are going on, Prasad said.

The energy sector and the industry should come forward for the hybrid type of park with both wind and solar. “I am also looking at the potential of solar park especially in the North Karnataka.”

Explaining main ingredients of the power policy, Karnataka Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee said, “First of all every single mega watt of energy produced by a solar panel will be purchased by the state electricity board.”

“Number two is - a solar panel on the roof of a house will have a meter that will measure what is the total amount of power drawn or given to the grid, so that you will get a bill or a check at the end of the month depending on how much you supply to the grid; this is without any limit,” he said.

Commenting on the problems in the energy policy, he said, “We supply power free to farmers, so non-conventional energy actually cost more than the normal power average in the hydro and the thermal power sector, so the subsidy burden on the state increases.”

“We roughly meet about Rs 7,000 crore on the subsidy to farmers every year,” he said.

Mukherjee said that the state government is focused on creating an enabling ecosystem for industry to prosper.

Mukherjee also underlined the importance of promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and said that the next Global Investors Meet in Bangalore will maintain a focus on MSME businesses.

‘Manufacturing top focus’

The Karnataka government is focusing on manufacturing growth to leverage its own natural advantages, namely, a high concentration of the scientific community, high density of educational institutions and different agro-climatic zones in the state, Karnataka Minister for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda said.

Delivering his keynote address at the valedictory session of the three-day CII Partnership Summit organised in Bangalore on Wednesday, Gowda said the state has not only excelled in IT software exports but also leads in sectors like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and aerospace.

Noting that Karnataka is a pioneer in aerospace, he said the government is developing an aerospace technology park to attract the best aerospace companies to invest in the state.

Later, at the interactive session, Gowda said food processing industry in the state will be categorised as agriculture activity. He informed that a Mega Food Park is coming up in Tumkur and other food parks in the state are being expanded with the objective of creating common infrastructure for ago-processing industries.

Commissioner for Industrial Development Maheshwar Rao said industry in the state is integrated with several global value chains. On the aerospace industry in Karnataka, he said the government is making efforts to ease the certification process for industry. He cited the huge potential for defence offsets against the rapid expansion of the aerospace industry.

CII President S Gopalakrishnan said that the Partnership Summit has paved the way for numerous partnerships.

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