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Development of Solar City in India comes in full gear: 11 Cities sanctioned, other 8 cities given "in-principle" approvals

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Leave a Comment

After a long wait, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has confirmed that it will start it's solar cities implementation project soon. In Feb '09, Gandhinagar and Rajkot cities in Gujarat were granted in-principle approval by MNRE under the scheme — 'Development of Solar Cities.'

Now in July '09, the project is finally given a green signal. The programme is aiming to reduce a minimum of 10% of the projected demand of conventional energy of the city through energy efficiency measures and renewable energy installations. A total of sixty cities are proposed to be developed as solar cities during the Eleventh Plan period including two model solar cities.

So far, sanctions have been issued for 11 cities in the States of Uttar Pradesh (2 nos.), Gujarat (2 nos.), Maharashtra (3 nos.), Uttarakhand (1 no.), Haryana (2 nos.) and Nagaland (1 no.). Further, 'in-principle' approval has been given for eight cities in the States of Tamil Nadu (1 no.), Madhya Pradesh (1 no.), Manipur (1 no.), Andhra Pradesh (1 no.), Chattisgarh (2 no.), Tripura (1 no.) and Union Territory of Chandigarh, for developing them as Solar Cities.

The Ministry is providing financial support up to Rs. 50 lakh for each solar city to the respective State Governments. The approximate break-up is:
  • up to Rs 10 lakh for preparation of the Master Plan within a year
  • up to Rs 10 lakh for oversight of implementation during five years
  • up to Rs 10 lakh for setting up a 'Solar Cell' and it's functioning for a period of five years
  • remaining amount of Rs 20 lakh is to be utilised for other promotional activities in five years (Source: Express News Services, PTI)
Further, for two model solar cities, financial support of 50% upto a maximum of Rs. 9.50 crore will be available towards the cost of installation of renewable energy systems. An amount of Rs. 47.58 lakh has been released for 11 cities sanctioned so far.

According to the MNRE guidelines, the energy base-line – the detailed documentation of the existing energy supply and demand scenario of the city – will be prepared by the urban local governments on the basis of the consumption pattern for 2008.

It will detail the sector-wise (residential, commercial and institutional, industrial and municipal) data collection on energy consumption (electricity, petroleum products, coal and biomass). Surveys will also be conducted for understanding energy use patterns and the efficiency of use. This will help in generating a Demand Forecasting for 2013 and 2018 and help prepare sector-wise strategies involving techno-economic feasibility of different renewable energy options. The next step will be a priority listing of all potential renewable energy technology options.

Realising the importance of Stakeholders' consultation in the preparation of the master plan preparation, the MNRE has suggested two consultations (excluding the inception workshop) – one immediately after the analysis of sector-wise strategies, and one towards the end to discuss the draft master plan.

The participants can include elected representatives, local research and academic institutions, resident welfare associations, industries and corporate organisations and NGOs among others.
This can be the first big step by Government of India towards the energy sustainibility, and its growth in future. Though I feel the amount of Rs 50 lacs is less still it can atleast initiate a number of activies in Solar Energy Development in India.

Hope we see the solar energy burning our electric poles soon!!!


  • Harshad Patel said:  

    wow! feeling cooooool to knowing that ghandhinagar is going to be solar city...
    Hope wil become soon...

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