Solar Park Current Affairs - 2020

Investment Capacity of India in renewable sector reached 500-700 billion USD

The Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a study according to which India has increased its potential of renewable energy investments to 500-700 billion USD. This is mainly because of improvements in solar power in the country.

Highlights

According to the study, the ultra-mega solar parks in the country have attracted foreign capital. The Bhadla Solar Park in Rajasthan is the largest solar park in the world. It is spread over 14,000 acres. The capacity of the park is 2245 MW of power.

Ultra-Mega Power Plant

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks was framed by India in 2016. In 2016, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had set a target of setting up of 40 industrial solar parks with a capacity of 20GW. The target was doubled to 40 GW in 2022.

The concept of ultra-mega solar parks involves local distribution companies and the state governments. This is mainly because large areas of land need to be acquired to set up a solar park. And since land is a state subject, state governments should certainly be involved.

Shakti Sthala: World’s largest solar park launched in Karnataka

The first phase Shakti Sthala solar park having total capacity of 2,000 megawatts (MW) was inaugurated in drought-prone Pavagada region of Tumkur district, Karanataka. It is claimed to be world’s largest solar park.

The park ties in with the Central Government’s scheme to generate 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar power by 2020. It has been executed within record time of two years, with zero land acquisition

Key Facts

The park’s development was initiated with creation of Karnataka Solar Power Development Corp. Ltd (KSPDCL) in March 2015 as joint venture between Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI).

KSPDCL had used “plug and play” model for development of park, under which it acquires and develops land as blocks for solar power generation, embedded with required government approvals and gives it out to solar power developers (SPDs) through auctions.

The solar park is spread over 13,000 acres and five villages. The land was taken on 25-year lease by government from around 2,300 farmers. In return, these farmers are paid annual rental of Rs.21,000 per acre, with scope for 5% increase every two years.

The first phase of the Rs. 16,500 crore park will generate 600MW power, while the balance 1,400MW will be commissioned in second phase by end year 2018. The park will decrease dependence on traditional power sources and move to environmentally friendly ones to meet growing power needs of state.

It will create employment and act as incentive for natives and farmers to explore new opportunities of socio-economic growth in the region. It will also curb mass migration of people from the region which has been declared drought-hit in 54 of the last 60 years.