ln the Himalayan belt of northern lndia, uttarakhand (“state”) is a state that is known for its natural beauty, religious significance, and some of India’s richest
forests and biodiversity. However, this natural heritage would be at risk due to the increasing impact of global warming and climate change. The state recognises the
urgent need to act on climate change by reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and adopting cleaner forms of energy that also lead to energy security and inclusive
growth of its economy.
The current solar policy, referring to the uttarakhand solar EnerSy Policy 2013, focuses on accelerating solar deployment through utility-scale projects. Under the
current solar policy, the state has achieved approximately 575 MW by November 2022. Going forward, the state aims to harness the potential of renewables in meeting its
jobs, growth and sustainability objectives. Therefore, by leveraging the solar potential, the state will emphasise adopting clean energy pathways and diversifying its
energy mix to further its objectives of preserving natural ecosystems, boosting livelihood prospects, improving the quality of life for its population, and ensuring
resilient infrastructure growth. Going forward, Uttarakhand will require innovative energy solutions to address the growing power demand and leverage economic
opportunities. With uneven geographical terrain and weather conditions such as snowfall that cuts off villages for months, distributed renewable energy systems,
supported by energy storage and resilient distribution grids, will be required to provide energy security while meeting sustainable development goals.
With this focus, the state commits to accelerating the growth of solar energy in the state through the implementation of distributed solar systems and innovative
business models and pushing for greater adoption of solar applications in the residential, agriculture, commercial, and industrial sectors. The state aims to adopt a
targeted, systematic, streamlined, and transparent approach to scaling up the share of solar in its energy mix and reaping the various socio-economic, health and
environmental benefits it offers.
The state envisions championing the clean energy transition by bringing solar energy from the margins to the mainstream. The policy intends to accelerate solar energy
deployment by harnessing the potential of distributed solar in different consumer segments, strengthening the institutional infrastructure, promoting innovative
business models, scaling up rural livelihood applications, and supporting tourism. lt further strives to leverage the potential of solar energy to improve the
resilience of the power system, reliability and quality of electricity supply, boost rural incomes, strengthen education and health services, promote inclusive and
sustainable economic growth and create livelihood opportunities for youth and women.
3. Regulatory Framework
The policy may be called Uttarakhand State solar Power Policy 2023.
Several provisions under the Electricity Act, 2003 (Act) mandate the Uttarakhand State Electricity Regulatory Commission (UERC) and the Government to take necessary
steps to promote renewable energy. Section 108 of the Act mandates the State Government to serve directions to the State Electricity Commissions in the matter of policy
involving public interest. Accordingly, the State Government, in the exercise of its powers, formulates this policy. This policy supersedes the Uttarakhand Solar
Energy Policy 2013 and all amendments thereto.
This policy outlines the following obiectives to meet the state’s vision:
o Reach a cumulative capacity of 25OO MW in the state by December 2027 through a diversified proiect portfolio across consumer categories, locations and applications.
. Accelerate investment in solar through new deployment mechanisms, including improved processes, incentives and business models.
. Provide reliable access to electricity to rural consumers in remote areas by promoting solar plus
. Support the development of solar-based livelihood applications and employment opportunities and foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state.
. Create opportunities for tourism to be part of the energy transition by offering incentives and innovative business models.
o Showcase the potential of agro-photovoltaics to boost agricultural income in the state. o Provide training for skill development with a special focus on vulnerable
communities to create employment opportunities through solar proiect deployment.
5. Operative Period
The policy would come into operation from the notification date and remain valid unless superseded by any other policy.
The policy promotes a diversified proiect portfolio spanning various consumer categories and applications. The two broad project categories are utility-scale solar and
distributed solar. The distributed solar is further disaggregated based on consumer categories as indicated below: