India’s Most Industrialised State Pushes for Clean Energy
From The Guardian
It’s rare that cheery environmental news comes out of India, especially when it comes to clean energy. But a July 22nd order by the electricity regulatory authority of Maharashtra (MERC), India’s most industrialised state, is being welcomed as a possible game changer. The government has ordered 93 entities to attain renewable power obligation (RPO) targets by March 2014, which include government distribution companies (discoms) as well as large private consumers of electricity.
Also significantly, companies that do not comply will be fined Rs 13.40 per unit (about 13p), higher than ever before. The state is one of only two states in the country to take such strong action (the state of Punjab, also one of the country’s richer states, has issued a similar, though not quite as radical order). The entities named will have to add approximately 400 MW of solar capacity in Maharashtra.
Until now, Indian states have made miserable progress in attaining RPO targets, mostly because the state has been uninterested in enforcing compliance, and both discoms and private companies have defied the government’s coaxing to buy renewable energy certificates (RECs). A Greenpeace report in April pointed out that 22 out of the 29 states did not attain their RPO targets. Maharashtra was one of the worst performers.
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