In a clear attempt aimed at giving a push to the setting up of and generation of clean energy mechanism, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved an amended Power Tariff Policy, which mandates States to have solar energy as 3 per cent of their total power purchases by 2022.

“The solar power purchase obligation for States may start with 0.25 per cent in Phase-I (by 2013) and go up to 3 per cent by 2022,” according to an official statement here. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet held under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here.

The present amendment in the Tariff Policy is as per the National Solar Mission Strategy, which was approved by the Cabinet on November 19, 2009, the statement added.

As per the amendment, the power purchased by State electricity boards or other state utilities will be complemented by solar-specific Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) mechanism through which solar power generation companies will sell certificates to the buyers.

The certificate will also help the buyers meet their solar power purchasing obligations, the statement said. Earlier, the Ministry of Power had asked the Cabinet to amend the Tariff Policy 2006, so that state electricity regulators can fix a percentage of energy purchased from solar power.

The amendment will come into effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette, the statement added.