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New Green Energy Board to Address Investor Concerns in the Offing?

New Green Energy Board

Renewable energy has been a shining success in India’s growth story. With personal interest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the issue, the sector has worked towards addressing the twin issues of energy security and climate change mitigation.

India’s renewable energy story is certainly worthy of celebration. As of 31 January 2020, the sector’s cumulative instalments crossed 86GW, with 37GW wind and 31GW large scale solar power installations.

India’s renewable energy market is also considered highly attractive across the world. Renewable energy market researcher Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) had ranked India as the number one emerging market for renewable energy investments in the world, driven by a robust policy network that has created the world’s renewable energy largest auction market. Attractiveness of the market can be gauged by the fact that nearly 30% of the market share involves foreign direct investment, while domestic and international financing are both readily available for projects in the sector.

A New Green Energy Board in the Making?

Mint has quoted sources within the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to report that the Modi government plans to set up an inter-ministerial body to settle various issues faced by the green energy sector, and attract billions of dollars in investments to successfully execute the world’s largest clean energy programme.

The proposed body, called the Renewable Energy Industry Promotion and Facilitation Board (REIPFB) shall be purportedly set up along the lines of erstwhile Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). REIPFB shall be entrusted to deal with challenges faced by renewable energy sector, work towards remove obstacles faced by investors. Further, this Board will work to provide all assistance to the industry in project development and implementation, and device strategies for increasing investor confidence and reducing risk and problems of the renewable energy sector.

The proposed Board is also supposed to liaise with various state governments and authorities to ensure smooth implementation of RE projects in the country, and liaise with various financial institutions to enhance access to easy finance.

Mint has quoted documents to state that the REIPFB will be headed by the Joint Secretary (JS) in charge of solar sector within MNRE, and will have JS rank officials from the departments of banking and financial services as members for liaison and cooperation. To also address the techno-economic and commercial issues in a comprehensive manner, the Board will also include representatives from state-run Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) which is the nodal coordination agency under Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) which acts as regulator for inter-state projects and provides guidance to state level regulatory bodies, Central government owned state generation company NTPC Ltd, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), and state-run lenders who work extensively with the renewable energy sector namely Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Power Finance Corporation (PFC), and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC).

Evidently, the Modi government is not resting on its laurels, and is instead focused on resolving the various issues related to the growth of the renewable energy sector in India.