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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Green energy to power over 50% homes in big cities

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 09, 2014
First Published: 00:24 IST(9/6/2014) | Last Updated: 00:28 IST(9/6/2014)

The Narendra Modi-led government has started work on a plan to ensure half of all homes in major cities receive some power from solar or wind energy sources by 2019.

The plan includes fresh incentives to encourage companies and individuals to invest in renewable energy sources and setting up giant solar plants in states such as Rajasthan and Gujarat.

New plans for renewable energy are also in the pipeline for the Capital. Following a visit by a team to Gujarat — one of the top-performing states in green energy —Delhi government is looking at additional incentives to citizens for installing roof-top solar systems with grid connectivity.

The Centre plans a similar model for other cities, emulating Germany where half of the homes have roof-top solar power systems. India is the world’s third-largest solar energy generating country but gets enough sunshine to top the list.

At the national level, ministry officials said, people will have an option to sell the excess power to the electricity grid for which a policy initiative will be revived. “Some income every month will be an additional incentive for switching to green energy,” said an official at the ministry of new and renewable energy.

The decision to give a big push to renewable power sources was behind the Prime Minister’s decision to bring the ministries of conventional and renewable power under Piyush Goyal. Sources told HT that Modi asked Goyal to go big on renewable energy.

This is keeping in line with the progress made in generating green energy by Gujarat during Modi’s tenure as chief minister. Gujarat implemented the Jyotigram Yojana that provided 24/7 power to each household. The scheme depended on solar, wind, biomass and waste as energy sources to generate about 25,000 MW annually.

Goyal has promised to replicate this Yojana and was in the state to study Gandhinagar’s success story.  After meeting the PM, lieutenant governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung also sent a team to study the Gujarat model this week that resulted in fresh power proposals for the Capital.

Gujarat initiated work on building the world’s biggest solar park of 4,000 MW spread over 20,000 hectares of salt land in Kutch. The state also installed solar panels over a water canal to ensure both power generation and saving water lost to evaporation. Previous governments have tried to popularise renewable energy with a subsidy scheme for installing solar installations including roof-top power standalone generation systems. But the schemes didn’t have desired impact as the required political push was absent.


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