With an aim to reduce a minimum of 10 per cent of the projected demand of conventional energy of the Indian cities through renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has selected certain cities across India to be developed as solar cities.
In line with this novel programme, the government has approved the names of 54 cities to be developed as solar-powered cities under the programme and consequently sanctions have been granted to 39 such cities, according to MNRE minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah.
Dr. Abdullah, in a written reply to the lower house of the Parliament- Lok Sabha- said that approval had been granted to 54 cities to be developed as solar cities in the country. He added that sanctions have already been given to 39 cities from the approved list, and the master plans were being prepared by the respective city authorities.
As of now, the plans for seven of these cities have been approved so far, informed the minister. These cities include Chandigarh, Thane, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Aizwal, Kohima, Agra and Moradabad. The master plan for each solar intends to assess and utilize various renewable sources including solar, wind, biomass, municipal waste, etc.
The minister also informed the house about the ongoing progress in the ambitious Jawharalal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), and said that the first phase of the mission is scheduled to be completed by 2013. He informed that the government was providing central financial assistance (CFA) of 30 per cent of the cost of installation of solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems such as solar lanterns, home lights and street lights.