Ministry drafts 10% renewables policy

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A draft proposal for a comprehensive national policy on renewable energy in India masterminded by the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) is currently awaiting cabinet approval. According to MNES minister K. Kannappan the policy expects renewables to meet 10% of India's planned capacity addition of 100,000 MW for the period up to 2012, including wind, biomass and small hydro power. The aim is for all the Indian states to adopt uniform guidelines to facilitate correct pricing for electricity from renewable sources and for wheeling and "banking" of green power, he added. Companies owning their green power plant could then sell the output to third parties as well as "bank" power at the utility, to be drawn out in times of power shortages. The policy, which is expected to pave the way for a much larger role for renewable energy, also proposes the setting up of a further three million family size biogas plants, 30 million improved wood stoves and deployment of five million solar lanterns and two million solar lighting systems. Renewables today contribute about 2.8% of India's 100,000 MW of generation, according to Kannappan, with wind accounting for about 1200 MW and mini hydro 1300 MW.

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