Tamil Nadu issues draft solar policy

The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency has issued the Draft Solar Energy Policy for the year 2018 to promote both solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal energy in the state. The state government has specified a target of installing solar generation capacity of 8,884 MW by 2022. Of this, 40 per cent will be met by consumer-scale solar generators. Moreover, the policy mandates all public buildings to meet 30 per cent of their energy requirements through solar energy and all state government departments to replace 10 per cent of their existing vehicle fleet with solar-powered electric vehicles by 2022. According to the draft policy, solar energy will be exempted from electricity tax, and grid connectivity, open access, wheeling and cross-subsidy charges. On the manufacturing front, the state government will identify the land for the development of solar manufacturing facilities and will introduce a single-window time-bound process for all departmental approvals. The draft policy has also specified the penalties that will be levied on discoms by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission if they fail to comply with their renewable energy purchase obligation targets.