iFOREST organizes conference in Bhubaneswar to start a dialogue on Odisha’s new Renewable Energy policy for 2022-30

The International Forum for Environment Sustainability & Technology (iFOREST) organized a major conference on wednesday in Bhubaneswar to start a dialogue on Odisha’s new Renewable Energy (RE) policy for 2022-30. Odisha’s present RE Policy was introduced in 2016, and is set to lapse at the end of 2022.

The present policy had set a modest target of installing 2,750 MW of RE capacity by 2022. But as of March 2022, only 617 MW has been installed, which is less than 25% of the target. The state is largely reliant on coal to meet its energy requirement. So far, Odisha has been importing renewable energy, like solar and wind power, from other states to meet its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) set under central government guidance. The RPO target of Odisha for 2022-23 is 11.5%. This means that 11.5% of electricity consumed in Odisha in 2022-23 has to be renewable energy. This target will increase to 43.33% by 2029-30.   

The multi-stakeholder dialogue focused on the short-comings of the existing policy and the priorities for the new RE policy to support the growth of the clean energy in the state. The event saw large participation from relevant government departments and agencies, public and private sector companies, NGOs and sector experts.

“Scaling up renewable energy installations in Odisha is essential for sustainable development and climate change mitigation. There is a general misconception that Odisha doesn’t have RE potential. Our analysis shows that Odisha has large RE potential that needs innovative policy to unlock,” explained Chandra Bhushan, President & CEO, iFOREST at the event. Bhushan further added that “Given the newly notified RPO target of 43.33 per cent by 2029-30, Odisha has to option to either install RE plants within the state or buy from other states. We think Odisha has a lot to gain by installing RE plants within the state. Therefore, we have proposed that the focus of the new RE policy should be ‘30 GW Renewable Energy by 2030.”

Prior to organizing the conference, iFOREST had undertaken detailed analysis of the RE sector in Odisha and organised seven focused group discussions on the new RE policy, in which over 60 stakeholders from industry, NGOs and government had participated.