According to reports, the ministry of new and renewable energy has initiated the development of solar cities. The programme has been designed to encourage urban local bodies to prepare a road map to guide their cities in becoming ‘renewable energy cities’ or ‘solar cities’.
The Solar City programme aims to consolidate all the efforts of the ministry and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner. The various initiatives of the ministry which include promoting solar water heating systems in homes, hotels, hostels, hospitals and industry; deploying solar photo voltaic (SPV) systems in urban areas for demonstration and awareness creation; establishing ‘Akshya Urja Shops’; designing solar buildings and promoting urban and industrial biomass to energy projects would be streamlined under the programme.
In a solar city all types of renewable energy based projects like solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to energy will be installed in an energy efficient manner as well as commensurate with the requirements of the city. The Solar City aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy and increasing energy production through renewable energy. The basic aim is to motivate the local governments for encouraging and adopting renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.
The Solar City would be identified on the premise of population; potential of renewable energy resources and energy conservation; initiatives taken by local governments as well as thegeneral public and industry in the same arena. The cities may have population between 50,000 to 50 lakh. However, relaxation is considered for special category states including north-eastern states and hilly states, islands and union territories. A total of 60 cities and towns were identified to be supported for development as Solar Cities during the 11th Plan period. At least one city in each state to a maximum of five cities in a state may be supported by the ministry as Solar City.
The local governments would be encouraged to make master plan and provide institutional arrangements for it. The master plan of the city will include the base-line for energy consumption during the year 2008, demand forecasting for the years 2013 and 2018, sector-wise strategies and action plan for implementation of renewable energy projects so as to mitigate the fossil fuel consumption in the city. Proper awareness generation activities would be included in the scheme.