“Budget 2018-19 is not very encouraging for the renewable and solar energy sector. The government has missed out on a major opportunity to take a lead towards combating climate change. The recently released Economic Survey highlights the impact of climate change in India especially to farmers. It mentions that rainfall extremities have increased in the past 10 years and climate change can potentially reduce farmer’s income by the range of 20-25%. Renewable Energy, especially solar can play a very crucial role to reduce the impact of climate change on our communities.
Unfortunately budget has not taken steps to createt an eco-system which would make combating climate change a possibility. The budget has very limited allocation to MNRE with a target to achieve 11 GW of installations in the next financial year. Allocation to SECI has also seen a reduction. A large chunk of the coal cess which was earlier transferred to National Clean Energy Fund now goes towards GST compensation fund. The budget does not talk about any alternative mechanism which would fund clean energy installations in India. In terms of energy security, currently we import 85-90% of our solar modules, which threatens our energy security. The current provisions in the budget does not mention any support for the manufacturing industry which has been highly discouraging for the sector. We hope that government will take additional steps to increase installations of solar power plants by providing direct and indirect support.”