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State forms panel to amend wind energy policy guidelines

After small hydro, the State Government is now pushing ahead with plans to revisit its policy guidelines on wind energy.

The government has appointed a four-member committee with the Chief Executive Officer, Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT), as convener to carry out a study and recommend ‘‘necessary amendments’‘ to the existing policy.

Through the proposed revision, the government hopes to draw more investments in this area. The thrust of the revision is on simplifying the procedures related to clearances and installing a single-window mechanism, ANERT CEO Narendra Nath Veluri told The Hindu.

Committee members include the Director, Energy Management Centre (EMC), the Chief Electrical Inspector, and the Chief Engineer ((Renewable Energy and Energy Savings), Kerala State Electricity Board. The preliminary report of the committee is expected to be ready by the end of February.

Following the publication of the Kerala Renewable Energy Policy in 2002,’ the ‘Policy guidelines for the development of wind power through private developers’ were issued in 2004. Primarily, the guidelines focused on developing captive power projects (CPP) and independent power projects (IPP) on government land in addition to projects on private land.

Except for a few locations such as Ramakkalmedu in Idukki, wind power development has not made the expected headway in the State. In 2020-21, the State’s total wind power capacity stood at 70.28 MW, compared to 2,129.47 MW in hydel and 300.33 MW in solar. A study by ANERT and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had indicated that, technically, Kerala has the potential for 605 MW in wind power.

Procedural delays in securing mandatory land-related approvals from government agencies and the difficult terrain have been cited as major hurdles in enhancing wind power capacity. The proposed revision is expected to address such issues.

Last week, the EMC had published the draft Kerala Small Hydro Policy 2022 which aims to increase the small hydro capacity from 260 MW to 500 MW in eight years.

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