The latest report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Renewable Energy Sector in India states that Rajasthan is utilising only 0.51 per cent of its solar energy potential.
However, the report, which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, said Rajasthan, along with Gujarat, has created more than 50 per cent of the total capacity installed in the country.
As per the report, Rajasthan has an estimated potential of 1,42,310 Mega Watt (MW) but its installed capacity stands at 730.10 MW. In percentage terms, this is the second best in the top five high potential states which have 59 per cent of the national solar energy potential. Madhya Pradesh leads with 0.56 per cent of its capacity installed.
In the 10 states endowed with 78 per cent of the national solar energy potential, the exploited potential varied from zero to 2.56 per cent, the CAG report further said.
“Gujarat and Rajasthan alone created more than 50 per cent of the capacity installed in the country but had exploited only 2.56 per cent and 0.51 per cent of their respective potentials,” the report said. On the other hand, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, with potentials of 1,11,050 MW and 33,840 MW, respectively, had not set up any grid connected solar project.
The report also noted that against the target of 500 MW of solar thermal projects, projects of 447.50 MW (approximately 90 per cent) had not been commissioned as of February 2015.
“Government land of 3,404 acre in Rajasthan, leased to six solar thermal project developers, had also not been put to its intended use so far,” it said, adding, “In Demonstration Programme, in one case, 345 acres of land had been leased in excess of requirement for a solar photovoltaic power plant.”
For wind energy, the CAG noted that “during the year 2013-14, only 98.80 MW could be added (in Rajasthan).”
The desert state has a potential for 5,050 MW and has an installed capacity of 2,786 MW or 46 per cent. This is much higher than the average of 20 per cent for the states. The installed capacity in top 10 states varied from zero to 68 per cent of the potential. Maharashtra had the highest exploitation of the wind energy potential at 68 per cent followed by Tamil Nadu at 51 per cent and Rajasthan at 46 per cent.
When it comes to biomass, Rajasthan has a potential for 4,595 MW but, as of March 2014, had only generated 101.30 MW or only 2 per cent of its installed capacity. Rajasthan is one of the top seven states endowed with 76 per cent of country’s biomass potential.