UP’s renewable energy HQ runs solely on conventional power
The New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (NEDA), a government nodal body that is primarily responsible for showcasing and promoting renewable power in Uttar Pradesh, does not practise what it preaches.
It meets the entire 125 kilowatt (KW) electricity load of its multi-storey headquarters in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, from conventional power drawn from the national grid. This is the situation though NEDA has been conducting campaigns for years, asking people to install subsidised rooftop panels to produce electricity from sunlight. Officials make policies for the use of solar power by others at this building.
“To take up demonstration programmes in the field of non-conventional energy in order to generate awareness and popularise the use of non-conventional energy systems among the people,” is among its primary objectives that NEDA boldly mentions on its website.
“This is really a sad irony that we preach others on the necessity of using clean and green solar electricity at their houses while we run our own building with conventional power. This certainly looks odd and gives a negative message,” said a senior NEDA official who did not wish to be identified.
NEDA was set up in 1983 as a registered society under the department of additional sources of energy of the UP government. The director of the agency is the chief executive and responsible for formulation and implementation of non-conventional sources of energy.
People familiar with the matter in NEDA said some 20 years ago, the agency had installed a 25 MW solar panel on its rooftop with funds provided by the Centre.
“The 25 MW solar panel only helped the building meet one-fourth of the electricity requirement initially for some years, but gradually its capacity started going down largely due to lack of proper maintenance and the installation was finally dismantled a few years go after it outlived its utility,” said people in the know of things at NEDA.
“Currently, the building meets its full power demand from the conventional grid power only,” they said.
Minister for law and additional sources of energy Brajesh Pathak said, “The government has chalked out an action plan to put up solar installations at all government buildings including, that of NEDA, and soon you will see them meeting some of their power need from solar energy.” The budget, he said, had been allocated for this purpose.
During the second ground breaking ceremony here last Sunday, Pathak had appealed to all use and promote clean solar power.
“Generate and consume your power through rooftop solar installations,” he had urged the audience.