Excelling in the field of green energy, Punjab was fêted with five awards for its performance in various fields of renewable energy power generation. This includes the first award for highest capacity addition in grid connected solar rooftop power in the country during the financial year of 2014-15.

The other four areas includes achieving highest cumulative grid connected solar rooftop power capacity, deployment of highest cumulative numbers of solar water pumps, highest capacity addition of off-grid waste to energy plants, and achieving highest capacity addition in grid connected solar power in the country.

The awards were given by the Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal to Punjab during Foundation Day function of Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of State (AREAS) held at Bengaluru.

Congratulating the state New and Renewable Energy department team for the achievement, minister in-charge Bikram Singh Majithia on Monday said that the environment of ‘ease of doing business’, combined with strong facilitation, attracted `7500 crore investment in the State.

“Department of New and Renewable Energy has become the flag bearer in scripting the success story of investments in the State. The pro-business climate developed during past eight years is encouraging a number of national and multinational companies to invest in Punjab,” he said.

Majithia added that the ingredients that make Punjab the best State for investment include pro-business climate, best infrastructure, best talent supply chain, investor-friendly policies, labour reforms enabling women employees to work during night shift, online approvals and governance reforms that abolished red-tapism.

“These awards are also a stamp of approval on our claims that despite being only two percent of the total country area, Punjab is not only competing with large States like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat but also leading the way in renewable energy capacity addition in the country,” he said.

He said that this was the result of state’s best solar policy, hassle-free land acquisition and land lease policies, pro-business policies, incentives, infrastructure and power provision that in the third phase bidding for solar projects, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has received 18 bids with cumulative capacity 1650 MW against offered capacity of 500 MW.

The stable policy environment for development of renewable energy, fiscal and financial incentives being provided by state under NRSE Policy-2012, time-bound approvals and clearances being provided at a single source by Punjab Investment Bureau, bankable power purchase agreement for 25 years and A rating of PSPCL have created an investment friendly environment in the State, he added.

Source: 01 September, 2015, The Pioneer