The state, which occupied the fourth position last year, has outranked Gujarat in the recently released progress report of the Union ministry of new and renewable energy.
Energy minister D K Shivakumar said in a tweet: “At 7,458MW, Karnataka now has the 3rd highest installed capacity in renewable energy. We will soon surpass Maharashtra to become 2nd in India.” The neighbouring Tamil Nadu is on top with 10,625 MW.
G V Balaram, MD of Karnataka Renewable Energy Devlopment, said with the development of Asia’s biggest solar park at Pavagada in Tumakuru district, they were confident of clinching the number one spot by April 2018. Farmers have voluntarily contributed over 12,000 acres for the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore.
What led to the paradigm shift? “The third rank among 29 states follows a marked shift in policy. Strong government support coupled with an attractive renewable energy policy has propelled Karnataka to the third place,” Balaram said.
He said the turnaround was possible because of increased targets fixed by Union ministry of renewable energy at 175 GW (gigawatts) by 2022. The Karnataka government revised its policy twice and set an ambitious target of solar energy generation at 6,000MW by March 2022 while the state’s solar power potential is estimated to be above 24,700 MW.