National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF)
The National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) is a fund created in 2010-11 using the carbon tax - clean energy cess - for funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technologies of public sector or private sector entities, upto the extent of 40% of the total project cost. Assistance is available as a loan or as a viability gap funding, as deemed fit by the Inter-Ministerial group, which decides on the merits of such projects.
The Fund is designed as a non lapsable fund under Public Accounts and with its secretariat in Plan Finance II Division, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
Creation of NCEF was announced in the Union Budget 2010-11.
An Inter-Ministerial Group, chaired by the Finance Secretary in Ministry of Finance (and comprising of Secretaries of Departments of Expenditure and Revenue at Ministry of Finance, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, a representative of Planning Commission and a Representatives of Ministry sponsoring the proposal and other Ministries concerned with that specific proposal) recommends projects eligible for funding under NCEF. Upon recommendation by NCEF, the final approval is given by the Minister of the concerned nodal Ministry (which initially approved and decided to take the project submitted by the public or private entity to NCEF) if the project cost is below Rs. 150 Crore; by Minister of Finance and the Minister of the concerned nodal Ministry if the project cost is between Rs. 150 Crore and 300 crore; and by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs if the project cost is above Rs. 300 Crore.
Usage of fund
Any project/scheme relating to Innovative methods to adopt to Clean Energy technology and Research & Development are eligible for funding under the NCEF. An indicative list of such projects is as follows:
- Projects supporting the development and demonstration of integrated community energy solutions, smart grid technology renewable applications with solar, wind, tidal and geothermal energy;
- Projects in critical renewable energy infrastructure areas such as Silicon Manufacturing;
- Projects which result in replacing existing technology in energy generation with more environmentally sustainable approach;
- Projects related to environment management, particularly in the geographical areas surrounding the energy sector projects;
- Renewable/Alternate Energy: This would include advanced solar technologies, geothermal energy, bio-fuels from cellulosic biomass/algae/any waste, offshore Marine Technologies (Wind, Wave & Tidal) & Onshore wind energy technologies, Hydrogen & fuel cells.
- Clean Fossil Energy: This would include power, oil, gas and coal technologies including coal gasification, shale oil/ gas, lignite/Coal Bed Methane, advanced turbine and technology for IGCC power plants, methane hydrates, enhanced recovery from unconventional resources and fossil energy advanced research, carbon capture and sequestration as also carbon capture and reformation.
- Basic Energy Sciences: This would include energy storage for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, solid state lighting, catalysis, biological and environmental research, advanced computing, high energy and nuclear physics etc.
- The Fund may also support pilot & demonstration projects for commercialization in the relevant field.
- Mission projects identified in the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and projects relating to R&D to replace existing technologies with more environment friendly ones under National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC).
- The projects relating to creation of power evacuation infrastructure for renewables.
Projects which are being funded by any other arm of the Government of India or have received grants from any other national/international body will be ineligible for applying/funding under NCEF. However, no project relating to basic/fundamental research are supported through NCEF.
Since June 2014 it has been decided that NCEF will also finance the schemes / programmes of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy which are already appraised through Standing Finance Committee (SFC)/ (Expenditure Finance Commission) EFC channels, if balances are available with the NCEF after financing projects approved by the Inter-Ministerial Group. This is done with only the approval of Finance Minister.
Details of projects recommended by NCEF are available on the site of Plan Finance II, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. As at the end of September 2014, NCEF has recommended projects worth Rs. 18577 Crore.
|Financial Year||Projects recommended by NCEF
(Project cost in Rs. Crore)
|2014-15 (uptil September 2014)||13250 (after certain sanctioned projects of previous years were downsized to include another project)|