Punjab is all set to introduce a New Non-Conventional Energy Policy-2012 to meet the increasing demand of clean energy and to reduce the burden on conventional energy resources. Bikram Singh Majithia, Non-Conventional Energy Minister, Punjab stated this during the two-day International Seminar on ‘Energy Access’ inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, here at Vigyan Bhawan, in which delegates from more than 30 countries and United Nations participated. Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Union Power Minister Veerappa Moily presided over the seminar. Participating in the deliberations on ‘Energy Access’, Majithia said that Energy is the lifeline for overall development of any nation and according to the need of the hour in this sector, the Punjab Government has finalized a blueprint to eliminate the energy poverty in the state. He said that the expansion of Renewal Energy projects with proper execution could reduce the environmental threats including global warming etc. The Minister said that by introducing the new and attractive policy on Non-Conventional Energy projects, the Punjab has announced the highest ever tariff to purchase power generated by bio-mass projects in the country. He said that more than 27 Lac Acres area in Punjab was under Rice cultivation, which produced 21 lakh MT rice straw which can be used as a raw material in Biomass Plants. He said that Punjab government has adopted modern techniques in the area of bio-mass projects which would utilize 100% paddy straw in boilers, which would prove a boon for the farmers as they would get an additional income between Rs 2000-2500 per acre for their paddy straw. He said that to attract the giant players of Biomass sector, the Punjab Government has offered highest tariff of Rs 5.83 per unit to purchase the power generated by the Biomass plants while Andhra Pradesh was offered Rs 5.18, Haryana Rs 5.65, Maharashtra Rs 5.74, Rajasthan Rs 5.16, Tamil Nadu Rs 5.12, Uttar Pradesh Rs 5.24 per unit. Majithia said that Punjab is leading to become a power surplus state as Punjab Government has made massive investments in both the Conventional and Non-Conventional Energy sectors. He said that four under construction thermal plants were on advanced stage of completion and with the generation capacity of 3920 MW from these plants, Punjab would become a power surplus state by the end of next year. Disclosing that Punjab would double its capacity for generating renewable energy in the state in next three years, Majithia said that initiating its commitment of doubling the capacity Punjab is going to launch a Bid for 400 MW Non Conventional Energy Projects in November 2012. He said that till now Punjab has total 515 MW renewal energy capacity, included 326MW of Biomass/Bagasse cogeneration including captive cogeneration projects, 46.5 MW Biomass Power Projects (IPP), 132 MW Mini Hydel Projects, 9.325MW capacity Solar Power Projects(IPP) and 1MW Waste to Energy Project. He said that under the upcoming policy Punjab would also provide Wheeling and banking facilities to the investors. Besides that the Punjab Government has decided to provide 50 % exemption on electricity duty on the power used during construction period by the investors. He also said that 100% Entry Tax exemption would also be given to the project holder in respect of all supplies made by setting up of the New Renewable Energy Projects besides that the Government has also announced VAT exemption on equipments required for these projects. The Minister further said that Government land, if available would be provided on lease for a period of 38 years having no CLU, EDU and any other fees for setting these projects. Majithia said that Union Government should bring a special package of incentives for installation of Solar Energy systems so the people can use solar energy for their routine purposes. Majithia also exhorted the delegates and representatives from various countries to invest in Punjab for the proliferation of Non-Conventional Energy projects. He assured them that the Punjab Government would provide all the necessary amenities for the construction of plants besides providing attractive incentives.