BANGALORE, INDIA: SOLARCON India 2012, the fourth edition of India’s premiere solar energy focused event with the theme "The Promise of Affordable Solar Power in India: Unraveling the Bottlenecks and Identifying Solutions", organized by SEMI India in association with the Department of Industries and Commerce, Government of Karnataka; Karnataka Udyog Mitra (KUM); Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) and supported by the Union Ministry for New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) was inaugurated today by Jagadish Shivappa Shettar, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Karnataka and Murugesh Rudrappa Nirani, Hon’ble Minister for Large and Medium Industries, Government of Karnataka.Speaking at the inauguration, Shettar said: "Our government has given a new thrust to the solar power sector by implementing a new renewable energy policy. We have added 441 MW of renewable energy includes wind and solar during 2011-12. In our budget 2012-13 we have proposed to setup a Green energy fund by levying surcharge of 5 paise per unit on industrial and commercial consumers. The surcharge will be complimented by a support of Rs. 25 crores from the government. The resources available in the fund will be utilised to encourage rooftop grid connected solar project.
"Our state aims to achieve the solar energy target of 200 MW by 2016. Our government has made it mandatory for all new houses to install solar water heaters. Apart from that the government and local authorities have taken the initiative to install large number of solar street lights and signals within Bangalore and few other cities, we plan to extend the solar street lights across the state."
Nirani added: "The Karnataka state initiated by releasing Solar Policy 2011-16, proposes to install 200 MWs Solar power by 2015-16 for procurement by ESCOMs to meet the Renewable Purchase obligation RPO. Solar Power projects of 80MW capacities for 2011-12 & 2012-13 are awarded to successful bidders through competitive bidding.
"State owned Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) has commissioned four numbers of solar power projects with aggregate capacity of 19MWs, and yet to install 5 MW solar power plant at Kaginele, Haveri district.
"The State government is planning to establish solar parks in Bijapur, Gulbarga and Yadgir districts, in order to ensure to provide plug-n-play facility for speedy implementation of solar projects.
"The cities of Mysore and Hubli-Dharwar are covered under model solar-city programmes; and roof-top harvesting programmes are likely to be taken in these cities under Net-metering concept. Karnataka nodal agency KREDL has identified 1000 major buildings across the state for implementation of Solar PV projects of capacity more than 100kW. About 100 major commercial institutions have been identified for steam-cooking systems. Karnataka leads in the installation of solar water-heating systems in the country.
"KREDL proposed set up of a Solar Park in 5000 acres land in Bijapur district; and the State and Commerce & Industries Department is currently co-ordinating to get land and other pre-requisites on a top priority as facilitator.”
SOLARCON India 2012 kicks off in the presence of James CP Chen, VP, Solar Business Group, AUO Group, Taiwan; Dr. Martha Symko Davies, Solar business manager, NREL, USA; Ms. Bettina Weiss, VP, SEMI PV Group; William Polese, MD, Lux Research Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Singapore, and Debasish Paul Choudhury, president, SEMI India.
At SOLARCON India 2012, more than 100 companies will present their products on an exhibition space spread over 60,000 square feet. More than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend India's dazzling event on solar energy.
SEMI India facilitates the Government of Karnataka’s solar initiative to make Karnataka the next solar hub of India. Choudhury said: “SOLARCON INDIA 2012 is a platform to give voice to the solar manufacturing industry and eco-system in India, and to further serve the constituents through a wide range of initiatives, such as workforce development, industry standards, public policy, market research and environmental, health and safety (EHS) programs. Also, we are pleased with the proactive efforts by the Government of Karnataka to support, collaborate and aid the companies in the Solar eco-system.”
"An economy based on Hydro Carbon is unsustainable. We will be failing in our duty to the next generation unless we optimize the use of resources. The untapped potential in alternative sources of energy holds the key to a sustainable future. I complement SOLARCON India 2012 in helping re-focus on the issues that we now dwindle upon. I am sure the conference will throw up many more new ideas and suggestions, which will lead us the way forward," said M.N. Vidyashankar, principal secretary, Commerce & Industries Department, Governemnt of Karnataka.