Madhya Pradesh has an important contribution to make towards nation-building in the renewable energy sector. The use of renewable energy (RE) has many impending benefits, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a reduced dependency on fossil fuel markets (in particular, oil and gas). The growth of RE sources may also have the potential to stimulate employment through the creation of jobs in green technologies.
The global policy landscape has largely driven the expansion of RE technologies by attracting investment and creating markets that have brought about economies of scale and supported technological advances. In turn, this has resulted in decreasing costs and the fuelling of sustained growth in the sector.
In his mind, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was aware of the importance of renewable energy, and the need for mobilisation of private capital in emerging economies to contribute to the growth across both technologies and regions.
Chief Minister Chouhan studied the development of innovative policies, and adopted much of the changes witnessed by a handful of countries across the world. In response to the rapid growth in energy demand and a growing interest in RE sector world-wide, the Madhya Pradesh CM promoted alternative energy sources in the state.
Chouhan’s focus on renewable and sustainable power did not look puzzling against the context of such a fast-growing and energy-hungry country. His planning for the future and search for alternative energy sources made sense from a business and an environmental perspective. An early policy instrument for the expansion of renewable energy, as well as priority transmission and distribution, seem to reduce costs and are considered to be knock-on effects of integrating a greater share of renewable energy.
According to the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, the central Indian state has a potential for 820 MW of small hydro-, 11 GW of wind-, 61 GW of solar-, and 11 GW of biomass-energy. The state is well-positioned to promote the development of RE sources. As Madhya Pradesh receives one of the highest levels of solar radiation, it is amongst the best states in the country for the setting up solar power plants.
The fact that the state has huge rivers like the Tawa, Narmada, Chambal, and Tapti flowing through it, providing substantial hydro potential, gives the state an advantage in terms of natural resources for setting RE power plants. It receives a lot of sunlight and has solar potential of up to 6.2 KWh/sq.m/day. Nearly 3000 MW of gross wind potential exists in Madhya Pradesh. Most districts in the state offer the possibility of using biomass, which has a theoretical capacity of about 1400 MW.
The state government has dedicated incentives for RE sector under its Industrial Promotion Policy that provides lucrative incentives to renewable energy producing companies along with customised packages for mega industries. As part of its incentives policy, the state offers exemption in electricity duty and energy development cess, reimbursement of state duty, land on concessional rates, waiver of wheeling charges and incentives for RE equipment manufacturing.
Madhya Pradesh has set an ambitious goal to supply neighbouring states with 20,000 Megawatts (MW) of green electricity by 2030 from renewable sources, including the construction of a solar power plant in the Chambal region. The state presently generates 5,500 MW of green energy from a variety of renewable energy sources and a major part is sourced through solar energy.
The government has planned for producing 10,000 MW of green energy over the next three to four years by building the 1,500 MW capacity Agar-Shajapur-Neemuch solar park; 600 MW Omkareshwar floating solar power plant, one of the largest such facilities in the world; 750 MW hybrid project; 950 MW hybrid storage Chattarpur project; 500 MW Kusum-A and 1,250 MW Kusum-C projects, among others.
In a first of its kind, a solar power project of 1.7 MW at Bina, Madhya Pradesh by Indian Railways in collaboration with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is installed wherein, solar electricity will be directly fed into the railway engines.
Madhya Pradesh is part of the Green Energy Corridor. It has a total renewable energy potential of approximately 30 GW from different sources. To tap this potential, the state has proactively supported private participation in development of projects by ensuring “Ease of Doing Business” in the state, supportive policies, regulatory environment, support from state power utilities and other state departments. Some of the major players who spread their wings in in state are Mahindra Susten, Sprng Energy, Athena, ACME Solar, Avaada, Greenko, O2 Power Private Limited, NTPC Limited, Solar Arise, Tata Power, Inox Wind, Kshema Power and Infrastructure Company Pvt Ltd.
The investor-friendly policy, transparency and suitable environment for business has made Madhya Pradesh an attractive investment hub for major domestic and global players. The 7th edition of Madhya Pradesh Global Investors Summit 2023, the flagship investment promotion event of Government of Madhya Pradesh, will be hosting a thematic session on renewable energy on 11th January 2022. The session will include industry captains, sector experts and government officials, to discuss the future of renewable energy and explore investment opportunities in the state.
Chouhan’s vision for developing global and regional best practices in the field of RE sector in Madhya Pradesh is seen to be an expansion of the RE industry assuming strategic national importance. With abundant sunshine available round the year in the state and the presence of improved technology, a strong and positive environment has been created.
In a wider sense, renewable energy might have missed big headlines at the national-level but the deal street is buzzing with action in Madhya Pradesh.