In keeping with the Centre’s agenda of pushing for green energy, the Maharashtra government is planning to increase power generation from sources such as wind and water by 14,400 MW in the next five years. The policy prepared by the energy department is expected to be passed by the state cabinet on 12th May 2015. Now, Maharashtra generates 6,155 megawatt (MW) of power from unconventional sources of energy. The main difficulty in power generation from non-conventional sources is the high production cost. The government has planned to provide land for power suppliers at cheaper rates and faster approval for environmental clearances, to minimize the production cost. Industrial houses will be encouraged to generate green energy for their use, and will be allowed to transmit it through the state’s grids.
Maharashtra Energy Minister, Chandrasekhar Bawankule said that “the present cost of energy generation from unconventional sources is Rs. 5.71 per MW, much higher than coal-based generation, which comes to Rs3.25 per MW”. He added that the aim is to bring it down to Rs4.50 per MW. According to the Minister, major part of the energy will come through captive generation mode (power generated for their own use) by industrial houses. The new policy will help the distribution companies also. Under the renewable power obligation, 9% of power transmitted by distribution utilities such as Reliance and Tata Power is supposed to be from non-conventional sources of energy. At present, they struggle to meet this target, as the state does not generate enough green energy for them to distribute. The increased power generation will help them meet the target.