Draft Master Plan recommends annual ‘Renewable Energy Plan’ in Delhi
Delhi on Wednesday recorded this year’s highest peak power demand so far at 6,185 MW, and 80% of the supply continued to come from polluting coal-fired thermal power plants. In this context, the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD) 2041 proposes to mandate that Delhi have an annual “Renewable Energy Plan” that identifies potential energy generation areas within the city along with strategies and projects to meet the targets outlined by the Union ministry of new and renewable energy. To ensure a digitally enabled and connected city, it also suggests total fibre-optic coverage to enable 5G in the future.
Real-time data from the State Load Dispatch Centre (SLDC) showed that the peak power demand of Delhi was 6,185 MW at 2.45pm on Wednesday. It was 5,808 MW on Tuesday and 5,559 MW on Monday. Delhi’s peak power demand recorded last year was 6,314 MW on June 29. It was lower than the all-time high peak power demand of 7,409 MW on July 2 the previous year because of the lockdown.
The MPD also mandates all agencies to adopt strategies to manage peak load demand. “Promote mixed use, permit select commercial/recreational spaces to function for 24 hours and promote night economy. Set up large public screenings of sporting and other events etc. Examine feasibility of shared heating and cooling systems. Use vacant office buildings/ schools etc., for night parking and EV (electric vehicle) charging. Promote EV battery swapping during peak hours and permit EV charging only during non-peak hours,” it states.
To increase Delhi’s share in green or renewable energy, the draft MPD has emphasised on solar power generation. To be sure, the city administration in 2016 rolled out a Delhi Solar Policy to achieve this. The MPD has asked the government to expedite its agriculture-cum-solar farm scheme by incentivising landowners to set up solar farms on their agricultural lands.
“Delhi has a number of canals that can be utilised for harnessing solar energy as per feasibility. The canal owning agencies may leverage this potential for the generation of solar energy. Government buildings and institutional campuses with a rooftop area above 500 sq.m to install solar PVs (photovoltaics) as per Delhi Solar Policy 2016 and Net Metering Regulations, 2014. Large-scale public facilities such as airports, Metro stations, railway stations, interstate and city-level bus stations/depots, stadiums etc., may progressively meet the majority of their power requirements through solar and other renewable energy,” the document said.
It also calls for setting up data centres to meet the need for data storage and server management, and for unified command and control centres to be set up by the local bodies as drivers for effective urban management, especially traffic, safety, and disaster response, among others.