Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has approved the final master plan for the development of Shimla and Hamirpur cities, chief minister Virbhadra Singh announced.
A workshop was organised on Promotion of Solar Technologies in Himachal Pradesh under Solar City programme organised by HIMURJA and Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in Shimla. Mr.Singh said the Ministry has conveyed the sanction of 15 kWp Solar Power Plant at Panchayat Bhawan, Shimla, 20 kWp Solar Plants each at Ridge Shimla and at Old Bus Stand.
The growing need of energy coupled with increasing environmental concern have posed a major challenge and there was a need to explore other non-conventional and renewable sources of energy which are also environment friendly. Stressing the need for judicious utilisation of abundant renewable energy resources, such as biomass, solar, wind and geothermal energy, he said that our country is facing an acute shortage of power, hampering industrial growth and economic progress. Pointing out that setting up of new power plants is inevitably dependent on import of highly volatile fossil fuels, the chief minister said that amid the growing demand for sustainable energy, the solar power technologies are on the verge of large scale global deployment for being clean renewable resource with zero emission and having tremendous potential of energy.
He said that with recent developments in the field, solar energy systems are easily available for industrial and domestic use with the added advantage of minimum maintenance. Adding,he said that it was the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visualised that solar energy will transform rural India and had launched a National Solar Mission in 2010 and added that Himachal endorses the National Policy for promoting clean and environment friendly technologies for exploiting the available power potential.
Time has come to adopt renewable sources of energy instead of polluting fossil fuels as such resources are in abundance in the country and state government has been working for development of renewable energy resources. “We have planned to reduce environmental de-gradation and de-forestation by promoting renewable energy technologies in the state,” he said.
Chief Minister said that as Himachal was having increased solar radiation level, it had the potential of becoming a model State in terms of promotion and development of Solar Energy and the state Government has notified the revised Solar Power Policy in January, 2016, which is valid upto March 2022.
As small hydro-power sector also plays a vital role in producing power at cheaper rates, five small hydro projects at Juthed, Kothi, Lingti, Sural and Purthi of 900 Kilo Watt capacity had been commissioned by HIMURJA, besides four projects with 1470 KW capacity had been commissioned under State sector funding at Sarahan, Gharola, Saach, Billing and Bara Bangal, Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh said.