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Surat to prepare master plan for solar city

As readers of Panchabuta are well aware, one of the eight National Missions outlined in National Action Plan on Climate Change, the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) specifically focuses on solar energy and its role in minimizing future emissions. The Government has launched JNNSM in January, 2010 with a target of 20,000 MW grid solar power (based on solar thermal power generating systems and solar photovoltaic (SPV) technologies), 2000 MW of off-grid capacity including 20 million solar lighting systems and 20 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area by 2022. The Mission will be implemented in three phases. The first phase will be of three years (upto March, 2013), the second till March 2017 and the third phase will continue till March, 2022.

 Government has also approved the implementation of the first phase of the Mission (upto March, 2013) and the target to set up 1,100 MW grid connected solar plants including 100 MW of roof-top and small solar plants and 200 MW capacity equivalent off-grid solar applications and 7 million sq.m. solar thermal collector area in the first phase of the Mission, till 2012-13.

The government has also launched a new scheme on ‘Development of Solar or Green Cities’ has been launched to encourage and assist the Urban Local Bodies in assessing their present energy consumption status, set clear targets for upto 10% reduction in projected demand, and prepare action plans to generate energy through renewable energy sources and conserve energy utilized in delivering urban services. A mission approach is being attempted in this area of sustainable habitats.

According to reports, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has decided to go ahead with the preparation of the master plan to turn the diamond city into ‘solar city’.

A stakeholder meeting was organized where the representatives from various organizations such as South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI), Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology ( SVNIT), Surat Builders’ Association (SBA), Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL), Torrent Power, textile industry associations etc. participated.

Official sources said the master plan will be prepared by 2012 and that it will have a database of electricity consumption in the city and the estimated carbon emission levels.

The master plan would set a goal of a minimum of 10 per cent reduction in the projected total demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, to be achieved through energy saving by following energy efficiency measure and generation from renewable energy installations.

The master plan would be implemented by categorizing the buildings into residential apartments, commercial complexes, industries, individual houses, corporate establishments and buildings of the government and SMC.

The government of India plans to develop 60 solar cities during the 11th Five Year Plan, to both meet the increasing electricity demand of its cities and to promote the growing use of renewable energies. Surat is among the three cities from Gujarat state after Rajkot and Gandhinagar to be selected under the solar cities initiative.

The Union ministry of new and renewable energy would provide a grant of Rs 10 lakh per annum to SMC for implementing the project.

Under the project, streetlights, energy used for water pumping and supply and maintenance of office lighting would be met through solar energy. This is expected to bring down the energy expenditure by 10 per cent.

Beside, the ministry has directed the cities selected for the implementation of the project to promote the use of non-conventional energy by private buildings, including apartments where solar energy could be adopted, for common lighting and water supply.

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