Government nod for development of 50 solar cities

Project aims to reduce 10 pc of demand of conventional energy
Last Updated 24 August 2015, 18:59 IST

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has approved a proposed master plan to develop 50 solar cities, including Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad and three in Delhi national capital region.

Out of the proposed 60 solar cities, sanctions have been issued for 50 cities that include Mysuru, Hubballi-Dharwad, New Delhi, Agra, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Amritsar, New Town (Kolkata), Howrah, Madhyamgram, Kochi and Bhopal, as per the information available on the ministry’s website.

Eight cities including Nagpur, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar and Mysuru have been selected for development as “Model Solar Cities”.

Fifteen cities will be developed as “Pilot Solar Cities”. Of the 15 cities, the government has so far named 13 that include Agartala, Coimbatore, Rajkot, Shimla, Faridabad, Thane, Raipur, Shirdi, Leh, Aizawl, Puducherry, Vijaywada and Amritsar which are being developed as Pilot Solar City.

Though the project was launched by the previous UPA government in 2012, it was making tardy progress due to poor response from the states. With the PM aggressively pushing for tapping green energy sources, the scheme got fresh vigour, said an official from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Towards a green future

From the solar city project, the Department of New and Renewable Energy is aims to reduce a minimum of 10 per cent of the projected demand of conventional energy of the city through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures.

The Centre provides Rs. 50 lakh for each solar city to the respective state govern-ment for preparation of a master plan, setting-up institutional arrangements for the implementation of the master plan, awareness generation and capacity building activities.

The NDA government is pushing for increase in the solar generation capacity from existing 2,900 MW to 1,00,000 MW by 2022. This would require an investment of around Rs.6.5 trillion over five years.

Of India’s total installed power generation capacity of 254,649.49MW, renewable power has a share of only 12.45 per cent, or 31,692.14 MW.

The country’s National Action Plan on Climate Change suggests that the country generate 10 per cent of its power from solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources by 2015, and 15 per cent by 2020.

(Published 24 August 2015, 18:59 IST)

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