Jharkhand (‘State’) is bestowed with significant reserves of fossil fuels, which have supported India’s growth for several years now. The State contributes ~19 percent of annual coal production in India. However, the use of fossil fuels has been one of the main contributors to creating adverse effects on the environment. India, even though eyeing to be the fastest growing economy, has shown serious commitment towards adopting low-carbon and sustainable development pathways. The State is committed to supporting India’s concerted action against climate change. Reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and diversifying the energy mix with various renewable energy sources would also improve the State’s energy security and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to its people. The Government of Jharkhand recognizes the significant potential of solar energy due to its topography. The State has around 300 days of clear sun with high solar insulation in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 kWh/m2/day. Supported by technological developments and national mandate, solar energy has steadily grown to parity with conventional fuels. The State aims to take a systematic, transparent and streamlined approach to scale the share of solar energy in its energy mix and reap the various socio-economic, health and environmental benefits it offers.
2. Vision of Jharkhand Solar Policy 2022
The State, through this policy, intends to become a leader in solar energy adoption and contribute to meeting India’s clean energy ambition by bringing energy transition closer to communities, businesses and industries, enabling ease of doing business, promoting efficient technologies, creating enabling infrastructure, promoting innovation and locally relevant business models, and equipping its implementing agencies and technical institutions to become best in class. It strives to meet various sustainable development goals like empowering rural population by enhancing their livelihoods, providing access to clean and affordable energy, creating sustainable cities and villages, and promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, creating full and productive employment and decent work for all.
3. Regulatory Framework
The policy would be called Jharkhand State Solar Power Policy 2022.
Several provisions under the Electricity Act, 2003 (Act) mandates the Jharkhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JSERC) and the Government to take necessary steps for promotion of renewable energy. The Section 108 of the Act mandates the Government to give directions to the State Commission in the matter of policy involving public interest. Accordingly, the State Government in exercise of its powers formulates this policy. This policy supersedes the previous Jharkhand State Solar Power Policy 2015.
4. Objectivesof Solar energy Policy Of Jharkhand
The policy outlines the following objectives to meet the State’s vision:
● Increase the share of solar electricity in DISCOM’S energy purchase to 12.5% by 2023-24, subsequently increasing in line with the State Commission’s notified RPO trajectory
● Deploy a cumulative capacity of 4000 MW in the state by 2026 through a diversified project portfolio across scales, locations and applications.
● Provide a deployment roadmap across various categories and applications with dedicated programmes on utility solar through solar park and non-park solar installations, distributed grid connected and rooftop solar systems, and off-grid systems.
● Provide avenues for private sector players and all electricity consumers to collaborate with the Government and invest in projects across various categories and applications.
● Support creation of solar villages, cities and/or districts through community solar and offgrid projects
● Scale energy storage in the state through identifying viable use cases, providing financing options, and promoting research and development activities. ● Support domestic manufacturing of solar PV technologies and its components and energy storage
● Support new deployment mechanisms including processes, incentives and business models
● Support innovative non-electricity applications of solar energy with financing options and business models to create new solar based livelihood activities, employment opportunities and foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state
● Provide trainings for skill development across geographies to create employment opportunities through solar project deployment
● Providing last mile connectivity to rural consumers in remote areas, who are off-grid
● Ensure gender inclusiveness in skilling and promoting livelihood applications
● Create more investment and employment opportunities in the state for bringing in overall development of the state and its people.
5. Operative period
The policy would come into operation from the notification date and would remain valid for five years unless superseded by any other policy.
6. Applicability of the policy
The policy would promote a diversified project folio spanning across regions and applications. There are three broad project categories: utility-scale solar, distributed solar and off-grid solar. Each of these is further divided based on the deployment location and/or mechanism as indicated below:
The full policy link is below