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Solar Cities in India – What you need to Know About this Bureaucratic Pork Barrel

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Solar Cities in India

India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has come out with a scheme to promote the use of solar energy in India. Known as “Solar Cities’, 60 cities across India have been chosen to dramatically increase the use of solar power through solar panels, heaters and cookers so that 10% of the energy usage comes from solar energy in the future. Note MNRE has not been too successful with its earlier programs namely the much hyped JNNSM which has managed to install only around 250 MW of solar capacity till date. Note Gujarat alone has managed to install 600 MW of solar energy in much lesser time. Even the Solar Cities plan looks like a over-hyped media dud to me. Only Rs 50 lakhs is being granted which is peanuts compared to the investment that will need to be made. Most of the money will go in planning and setting up bureaucratic bodies.

Read about Solar Products In India.

Some of the key highlights of the Solar Cities program are:

1) 10% reduction in Fossil Fuels  - The Solar City aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, through a combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city and energy efficiency measures.

2) Actions  to be taken by the Municipal Corporations and City Councils/District Administrations for developing a Solar City

  • To create a “Solar City Cell”
  • To constitute a “Solar City Stake Holders Committee”
  • To promote National Rating System for construction of energy efficient Green Buildings in particular to commercial and institutional buildings
  • To amend building bye-laws for making the use of solar water heating systems mandatory in certain category of buildings.
  • To provide rebate in property tax through Municipal Corporations/ Municipalities & in electricity tariff though Utilities/ Electricity Boards to the users of solar water heaters especially in domestic sector.
  • To comply with MSW Rules 2000 notified by the Ministry of Environment.
  • To organize rigorous publicity, and also the training programs/ business meets for various stake holders e.g. architects, engineers, builders & developers, financial institutions, NGOs, technical institutions, manufactures/suppliers, RWAs etc. so as to involve them actively in meeting the objective of solar city.
  • To generate necessary funds from State Govt. and other funding organizations for achieving the objective of making the city as “Solar City”.

3) MNRE Grant - Up to Rs. 50.00 Lakhs per city/town is provided depending upon population and initiatives decided to be taken by the City Council/ Administration as following details:

  • Up to Rs 10 lakhs for preparation of a Master Plan within a year along with few implementable Detailed Project Reports.
  • Up to Rs. 10 lakhs for setting up of Solar City Cell and it’s functioning for a period of three years.
  • Up to Rs. 10 lakhs for oversight of implementation during three years.
  • Up to Rs. 20 lakhs for capacity building and other promotional activities to be utilized in three years.

4)     Population Size of Solar City – The cities may have population between 0.50 lakh to 50 lakh, however, relaxation could be considered for special category States including North-Eastern States and hilly States, Islands and Union Territories.

5)      List of Cities already Chosen

State-wise list of 48 Cities for which in-principle approval has been give:

Sl.No.

State

Cities for which in-principle approval given 

1.

Andhra Pradesh

1.  Vijaywada*

2.

 

Assam

2.  Guwahati , 3.  Jorhat*

3.

 

Arunachal Pradesh

4.  Itanagar*

4.

 

Chandigarh

5. Chandigarh *

5.

 

Chhattisgarh

6.  Bilaspur* , 7.  Raipur*

6.

 

Gujarat

8.  Rajkot* , 9.  Gandhinagar* , 10.Surat

7.

 

Goa

11.  Panji City*

8.

 

Haryana

12. Gurgaon* , 13. Faridabad*

9.

 

Himachal Pradesh

14.  Shimla * , 15.  Hamirpur*

10.

 

Karnataka

16. Mysore* , 17. Hubli-Dharwad*

11.

 

Kerala

18. Thiruvananthapuram , 19. Kochi

12.

 

Maharashtra

20. Nagpur* , 21. Thane* , 22.Kalyan-Dombiwali* ,              23. Aurangabad , 24. Nanded , 25. Shirdi

13.

 

Madhya Pradesh

26. Indore , 27.Gwalior* , 28. Bhopal , 29. Rewa

14.

 

Manipur

30. Imphal*

15.

 

Mizoram

31. Aizawl*

16.

 

Nagaland

32. Kohima* , 33. Dimapur

17.

 

Orissa

34. Bhubaneswar

18.

 

Punjab

35.  Amritsar* , 36.  Ludhiana*, 37.  SAS Nagar (Mohali)

19.

 

Rajasthan

38. Ajmer , 39. Jaipur , 40. Jodhpur*

20.

 

Tamil Nadu

41. Coimbatore

21.

 

Tripura

42. Agartala*

22.

 

Uttrakhand

43. Dehradun* , 44. Haridwar & Rishikesh* , 45. Chamoli-Gopeshwar

23.

 

Uttar Pradesh

46. Agra* , 47. Moradabad*

24.

 

West Bengal

48. Howrah

PG

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to greensneha@yahoo.in or call me on +913340606492.

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