As chief minister Akhilesh Yadav presents the annual budget for 2015-2016 in the state assembly on February 24, he may give a boost to solar energy sector and offer sops with top priority to be given to the distribution of subsidised solar packs to run a fan and two light points in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh.
“The state government proposes to extend the distribution of subsidised solar packs of 120 watt capacity to run a fan and three LED lights in all the villages,” said principal secretary, additional sources of energy, Jeevesh Nandan.
Although the state government had introduced the scheme to provide solar packs free of cost with Lohia Awas Yojana, with nearly 90,000 packs being distributed in the current financial year the modalities are being worked out to extend the scheme to all the villages.
Besides the distribution of solar packs, each costing Rs. 30,000, a scheme to set up streetlights in every village panchayat is also being launched. One streetlight costing around Rs. 26,000 would be provided for every 30 houses.
As groundwater remains contaminated in many districts, a scheme to set up solar power plants to run water pump and RO to provide purified water to students has been formulated.
“We have already set up two such units in two schools of Sonebhadra. This may be extended to more schools in the coming year,” said Nandan.
The chief minister has already given top priority to solar energy projects in the state’s development agenda that he has finalised for 20152016. As per the proposal, UP’s New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (NEDA) would be restructured and solar parks would be set up.
“We have got one solar park approved from the central government. As 1200-hectare land (needed to set up the park) was not available at one point, the state government has decided to set up a decentralised solar park to generate 600 MW power. We have identified land at Jalaun (670 hectare), Allahabad (100 hectare), Etah (100 hectare) and Kanpur Nagar (150 hectare) to set up the park that would be set up with a private investment of about Rs. 4800 crore,” said Nandan.
“A solar power plant (10 MW) has already begun functioning at Mahoba, other plants including one at Lalitpur will also be ready soon,” he added.