According to reports, a pilot project is being conducted among farmers to introduce solar-powered motors, said the state electricity Minister Natham R Viswanathan while visiting the renewable energy exhibition here on Saturday. Farmers will be provided 80% subsidy for the purchase, he said.
The minister said farmers will be provided solar equipment worth over Rs 5 lakh under the scheme which is in its preliminary phase. The buyer will have to invest at least a lakh for the purchase. Subsidy is being provided by the state as well as the centre for buying non-conventional energy devices.
Viswanathan further said the government buildings in the state will gradually run on solar power. Mannaparai Government Hospital, Srirangam, and the Trichy Corporation office are now running with solar power and measures are also being taken to convert the district collectorate, said the minister.
The minister inspected the 73 stalls put up by the solar equipment traders who are showcasing their models. Some stall owners, however, said adoption of solar energy is comparatively less among the farming community since a heavy investment is required. Besides, the disbursal of government subsidy is tardy.
The stall owners are exhibiting a wide array of solar, wind and other cost-effective equipment such as LED lights. A conference on renewable energy was also held here as part of the exhibition.
The exhibition is conducted jointly by the Southern India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Chennai, and the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA).