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National policy on renewable energy needed with dedicated FIs to attract investments: MNRE Secretary
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, has emphasized the need to formulate a national policy on renewable energy to attract investments into the sector. MNRE secretary Upendra Tripathy suggested that India, like China, should have exclusive financial institutions to fund renewable projects. China has four financial institutions that fund renewable energy projects.

Addressing a workshop on 'Conceptualizing a Framework for Solar Resource Data in India', under the aegis of FICCI Solar Energy Task Force, he said that there was a need for more focused research in this sunrise industry. The workshop was aimed at providing a platform to leading players from the Indian solar industry to come together and work collectively on issues of common interest and concern and contribute to the development of a framework for resource data in India.

He urged the industry and think thanks to work in close collaboration with the government.
Keeping this in view, Tripathy suggested that industry should work with the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in this important area. The Secretary said that the new government's focus was to "Think Big" on Renewable Energy.

Speaking about the Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) data, Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said that the impact of DNI was more than envisaged. Earlier, satellite data was used which had consistency issues but now we have experts who work on satellite data to bring it into usable form. He hoped that by the end of this year a SolMap for the country would be ready.

Talking about the government initiatives, Kapoor said that seven solar thermal projects have already been commissioned and two more pilot CSP projects were in the pipeline. He added that there was a need for viable demonstration projects for solar thermal applications in sectors such as hospitality, laundry, cooking, etc.

In his theme address Deepak Thakur, Chair, FICCI Solar Thermal Subgroup and Corporate Head-Solar Business Group, Thermax India, mentioned that the solar research data was the backbone for the development of the Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) projects in the country, particularly the DNI component. He said that this workshop would help in devising a framework for benchmarking and assessing of the data.

Ardeshir Contractor, Co- Chair of FICCI Solar Energy Task Force and Managing Director, Kiran Energy, said that the private sector had been able to successfully overcome the challenge of power evacuation by constructing power evacuation corridor in Rajasthan. He urged the Secretary that the government and industry should share infrastructure and the power grids to make the projects viable both for the public and private sector.

In his closing remarks Vivek Chaturvedi, Co-Chair of the FICCI Solar Energy Task Force and Chief Marketing Officer, Moser Baer Solar, said that FICCI looked forward to working closely with the Ministry. He thanked the Secretary for sharing valuable information and responding to the queries of the stakeholders.

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