The Maharashtra government announced incentives for investments in the non-conventional energy sector as part of a policy for the development of new and renewable sources of energy.
The state cabinet cleared a policy that encourages off-transmission grid generation of power using resources such as solar energy and biogas to reduce the load on the transmission grid.
Maharashtra minister for energy Chandrashekhar Bawankule said the policy would be implemented over a period of five years and was geared to encourage small and medium entrepreneurs to invest in the non-conventional energy sector.
He said the government expected entrepreneurs to invest in production of solar sets, transformers, panels, pumps and other ancillaries that would be required to create the necessary infrastructure to tab these renewable sources of power.
"The policy aims at reducing the load on the main transmission grid by encouraging government and private buildings to install their own solar power units for their consumption. Maharashtra is already the leading state in installing off-transmission grid transformers and this policy provides additional incentives to increase generation of solar energy," Bawankule said.
Over the next five years, the government will spend Rs.2,682 crore from district annual plans, allocations from the finance commission and Green Energy Fund. The money will be released in the form of direct grants and 20% subsidy on purchase of solar sets.
The policy looks at generating 200 megawatts from rooftop and ground solar power sets in the next five years. These sets will be installed on 10,000 government and private buildings. The government will provide Rs.1,600 crore over the next five years for this programme.
For water supply schemes for villages with less than 5,000 population each, the government will provide a direct grant of Rs.500 crore over a period of five years to install 10,000 solar pumps, each generating between 3 to 7.5 horsepower.
"These solar pumps will satisfy the energy requirement of villages with less than 5,000 population for their water supply schemes. The government will provide Rs.500 crore for this scheme in five years," the minister said.