Tender Criteria For PM-KUSUM Makes It Difficult For DRE Companies To Participate

According to a report based on a survey by CLEAN, a Delhi-based non-government organisation (NGO), the early stage start-ups operating in the Distributed Renewable Energy (DRE) space are facing a challenge in participation in tenders floated under the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme.

With the overall goal of making the farmers independent, the implementation guidelines for PM-KUSUM scheme were announced in July 2019.

It entails setting up of 25,750 MW solar capacity by 2022 with a total central financial support of Rs 34,422 crore.

“The main challenge as highlighted by the members surveyed indicates that the eligibility criteria for participation of firms in the KUSUM tenders has not provided equal space for early stage start-ups,” the report said.

The DRE companies provide clean energy solutions including solar pumps, solar lanterns and solar home systems.

CLEAN compiled the report based on its annual survey “State of the Decentralized Renewable Energy Sector in India”. The 42 CLEAN member enterprises who responded to the survey serve 4,300,000 customers in India and are responsible for 4,344 full-time jobs and 2,556 part-time jobs in the sector.

The report said around 10 million solar lamps and lanterns were sold in India in 2017 and 2018, up from 6.38 million in 2016.

It added enterprises face difficulty in competing with subsidized grid tariffs due to high levelized cost of electricity and the operators of mini-grids have called for mini-grid policy.

  Reference- Economic Times, CLEAN Report