One Solar City in Every Indian State And UT
The Centre has asked all states and Union territories (UTs) to identify one city each out of a national list of 60 cities, whose entire electricity needs would be met through rooftop solar power.
This will not only add heft to India’ green energy credentials but will also help create demand for a solar equipment manufacturing ecosystem for ingots, wafers, cells and modules; that the country desperately needs.
A total of 60 such solar cities were identified across India in consultation with the state governments, that also included five model cities and 13 pilot cities, for which the states were given financial assistance to prepare a master plan.
The master plan includes projection of energy demand for the next 10 years, renewable energy addition, increased use of energy efficient electrical equipment, awareness generation and setting up of solar city cell.
Going forward, a senior district or electricity distribution company (discom) officials will be nominated for each such solar city wherein rooftops may also be leveraged for commercial, industrial, institutional and government sector. Also, off-grid solar applications such as street lights and large ground mounted solar plants may be constructed on public land through Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model involving no capital expenditure.
Under a RESCO model, a firm such as state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) makes the entire upfront investment. Given the revenue model, it gets paid from the savings accrued on account of saving energy costs.