According to reports, with the state government lagging behind in the use of renewable energy compared to other states, officials of the power department will hold a high-level meeting with other government departments at the Writers’ Buildings on Monday to discuss on ways to promote renewable energy in the state.
West Bengal has been lagging in producing renewable energy power and bringing in new investments to the state in this sector. Of the total investment of Rs 16,000 crore in grid-connected solar power projects in the country, West Bengal is lagging far behind with only two projects totalling Rs 70 crore in grid connected solar energy projects. The financial assistance that the Centre provides to the states for developing renewable energy has also come down for West Bengal over the last two years.
At present, the state produces only about 110 MW of renewable energy of which 80 MW comes from various small hydro projects and the rest comes from bio mass sources. The state plans to produce another 800 MW of renewable energy by the end of the 12th five year plan by 2017.
The state is also trying to impose renewable purchase obligation on the state power supply utilities by this year that will make it mandatory for the power distributors to buy a part of the power requirement from renewable energy sources.
Agencies like the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) have been working to develop the use of solar power. The authorities have recently selected two sites near the Eco Park where two sample solar trees will be set up as a pilot project. The trees will be set up with the help of BESU expertise. The trees will have solar panels from where electricity will be generated during the day and it will be giving LED lights at the night.
The NKDA authorities have also made it mandatory for all commercial and residential high-rises to install solar rooftop system to meet at least 2% of the buildings’ electrical load requirement. The state government had earlier formed the New Town solar city committee to prepare concept plans on how New Town could be developed as a solar city. Within the city, the KMC authorities have started setting up roof top solar panels in the high-rise buildings.