Sunday, February 04, 2007

India's Renewable Energy SEZ

In what could be the single biggest boost for Renewable Energy in India, the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources has been working on setting up an SEZ for manufacture of renewable energy equipment. A brief history...

After a meeting with Minister of New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar, back in June 2006, the German Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Sigmar Gabriel told a press conference,"A German business delegation will soon visit India, and explore with the Indian industry and the government, the possibilities of investments in the SEZ for renewables."

More details emerged one month later at the inaugural function of `Green Power 2006', a national conference and exposition on renewable energy organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). A Special Purpose Vehicle called Future Energy Zone India Ltd (FEZ) was being promoted by Malavalli Power Plant (Bangalore) and European investors.

"The SEZ will house industrial R&D units, laboratories such as CPRI, testing units, educational and vocational training centres. Besides, an area for vendors will also come up. Later, industrial parks, convention centres and a logistics and transportation zone will be considered.."

The SEZ is to come up on 1000 acres of land and will generate 600 MW using renewable energy for captive purposes.

In infrastructure costs the SEZ will need, "about US $ 2 billion... just for setting up manufacturing units of poly silicon modules, cells, panels for solar energy, besides units for making turbines for wind energy, hydro and equipment for generating bio mass energy. "

Meanwhile, Parliament was told in October that the ministry had received investment proposals worth US $ 2.1 billion from US and German companies.

Among potential locations that the respective states have offered are Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and the Mangalore-Udupi region. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are also in the race to bag the SEZ.