Around 150 local industry representatives were in attendance at the workshop on solar technology, organized jointly by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
With the focus on emerging solar technologies — particularly a new of form called concentrated solar technology (CST) which is meant to be used for industrial heating systems — the recent workshop was the first such event this year, aiming to popularize green energy among the industrial and commercial consumers.
"The objective of the event was to forge a road map to embark on the use of solar power and its potential to use hybrid technologies, setting the stage for larger renewable energy penetration," said a CII representative.
According to an MNRE director, Dr R P Goswami, the ministry is planning to spend some Rs 600 crore on solar subsidies in the coming days. Tax rebate on CST, for one, has been set at 30% across the country. "The ministry is providing support through nodal state agencies and the subsidy is reimbursed after the solar heating system is set up by the consumer. We are promoting domestic use of solar power in a big way," he said.
The consumer group that the champions of solar power are mainly interested in comprises the industrial sector. Udyog Vihar’s power consumption figures are significantly high, and weaning the industrial consumers off conventional forms of power has proved quite a challenge for even the state government, despite the lavish subsidies of around 70% on solar technologies.
"The problem seems to be their focus on solar heaters, which are only of use in specific types of industries where water heating is required, like in the garment sector," said an industrialist. The only way forward, he added, would be to install solar power plants in the area and to link these up with the grid supply.
The ministry is planning to spend some Rs 600 crore on solar subsidies in the coming days. Tax rebate on concentrated solar technology has been set at 30% across the country.