Maharashtra’s New Textile Policy Promotes Utilization of Renewable Energy Sources
The policy will also help increase the number of small-scale renewable projects as the state has removed the 1 MW ceiling for net-metered rooftop solar projects
FEB 20, 2018 SAUMY PRATEEK MARKETS & POLICY, SOLAR Maharashtra’s New Textile Policy Promotes Utilization of Renewable Energy Sources The state government of Maharashtra has issued a new textile policy in a bid to make the state’s textile industry more profitable in the coming years. The new textile policy will be applicable from the year 2018 up to 2023. In the new policy, the government has focused on the utilization of renewable sources of energy to cut down the overall costs and has also provided consumers with energy subsidies. Key highlights of the new policy: Special incentives will be given to textile projects implementing environment-friendly solar and wind energy projects. If spinning mills, power looms and textile projects are ready to set up green energy projects then the state government, in collaboration with Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA), will formulate a program for providing the appropriate subsidy to reduce the overall power subsidy. The state government’s energy department will not levy charges other than transmission charges on projects using non-conventional sources of energy. The restriction of 1 MW is removed from the net metering program. A subsidy of ₹3 (~$0.046)/kWh will be given to co-operative spinning mills for a period of three years. Within this period, the units will set up non-conventional power projects to fulfil their power needs. The removal of upper limit of 1 MW for net-metered projects is a welcome move for the growth of rooftop solar sector in the state. The policy will help in the development of small-scale renewable energy projects in Maharashtra. The upper cap of 1 MW was a hindrance for the development of rooftop solar as most of the commercial and industrial consumers could not make full-utilization of the available space for project development. In an interview with Mercom, Umakant Shende, the chief operating officer of rooftop solar developer CleanMax Solar, had said, “Rooftop solar is primarily driven by state net‑metering policies and most of these net-metering policies put an upper ceiling of 1 MW on rooftop solar projects. This artificial capping is inhibiting the growth of rooftop solar.” Recently, the state of Odisha also removed upper cap for net-metered rooftop solar projects. The new textile policy of the state indicates that the government has now come to realize the fact that the development of large-scale projects is not the only way to further the use of renewable power in the state. Of late, the state government’s implementing agencies have been on a drive to tender solar projects for agricultural feeders. Mercom had previously reported about the Government of India’s solar energy program for decentralized power loom units in the country. The program, aimed at supporting the power loom sector, includes financial assistance and capital subsidies for the installation of solar to address power shortage issues faced by the decentralized power loom units in the country.