Energy Minister D K Shivakumar on Wednesday assured investors in the renewable energy sector that the government was aware of issues regarding procurement of land for wind energy projects in the state and would come to their aid.
He was speaking at the curtain raiser for a conference on renewable energy, ‘Green Summit’, to be organised by trade body FKCCI. “We are taking steps to ease the process of acquiring land. Section 109 (Land Reforms Act) will be liberalised and we are also requesting farmers to give their land for a land pool so that the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) can allot land for projects,” he said. Section 109 restricts the purchase of land reserved for agricultural purposes barring a few exceptions.
He said a new solar policy will be presented to the state cabinet on Thursday for clearance. “The CM has decided to promote green energy. We want serious players in this field and we want power. People must take advantage of this opportunity,” he said. The state’s renewable energy initiative has been mired in controversy after several allotments for establishing wind power projects failed to take off.
Though projects totaling 12,961 MW were commissioned, only 2,426 MW has been sanctioned. “Though a large number of allotments have been made, the implementation is very slow. People are holding/hoarding a lot of land and there are other problems. We have to come out with a new renewable energy policy,” said Additional Chief Secretary P Ravikumar. Stressing that renewable energy was becoming cost-effective, he pointed out that the price of power from fossil fuels was increasing at a rate of 7 per cent a year. “We would like to bring all stakeholders in renewable energy together. Financing is also a major problem currently,” he said.
Green Summit 2014
The conference, ‘Green Summit 2014’ will be a two-day event from June 5 and will be held at the White Orchid Convention Center and Manpho Convention Centre, Bangalore. For details log on to www.greensummit.in.