Budget 2019 for Renewable Energy Sector
By providing a ‘Mega’ investment to advanced technology in areas such as Semi-conductor Fabrication (FAB), Solar Photo Voltaic cells, Lithium storage batteries, etc will give a further boost to Distributed Energy and Services. With this, the government has also hopefully made the right statement of intent to bring down EPC costs for large scale rooftop solar projects. Global technology firms given an attractive entry into India benefits our end customers who embark on a more sustainable energy path. That’s good news.
Alternatively, as a sector-focused player, the lack of focus on the rooftop solar industry, especially while we harp on strengthening our infrastructure core, is missing. We hoped to see a revision of GST to 5% from current 8.9% which would’ve enabled the sector to use their available capital more productively, along with the availability of adequate and manageable credit to give a boost to this sector. In a sun-blessed country, we already have the core ingredient ready to bring about large scale energy savings and hence economic growth, and these initiatives would have come as further rays of hope.
One good part in this direction is that the government is taking efforts towards pushing the UDAY Scheme to strengthen the financial position of DISCOMS. This is definitely a strong move as rooftop solar can function much better with healthy support from DISCOMS. At the same time, cross-subsidy surcharges, undesirable duties on open access sales or captive generation for industrial and other bulk power consumers under Ujjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) will only make Solar more competitive and hence attractive.