USD 10 million to be invested to develop ‘solar cities’

Solar PV is enjoying an unprecedented boom in India, and one of the country’s most recent initiatives to promote solar deployment has been the ‘solar cities’ program. Within the program, cities and town have been encouraged to adopt energy efficiency measures and to increase the level of solar deployment.

So far, Rs. 241.6 million (USD 3.56 million) has been released as funding for the program, while the Minister of Power, Piyush Goyal, has now announced that a full Rs. 670 million (USD 9.88 million) has been approved to develop solar cities across the country.

Each state across the country will have at least one solar city, with a total of 60 cities and town proposed for the initiative. The capital city of New Delhi is the stand out name to be proposed for the scheme, while the state of Maharashtra has the most proposed solar cities, with seven. Although Maharashtra has the most proposed solar cities, Chandigarh will receive the most funding, with Rs. 251.6 million (USD 3.7 million) set to be extended to the state.

“The Solar City Program aims to consolidate all the efforts of the Ministry in Urban sector and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner,” commented the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). “A total of 60 cities/towns are proposed to be supported for development as Solar Cities and at least one city in each state up to a maximum of five cities in a state may be supported by the ministry.”

The aim of the program is to have the cities reduce their demand for energy from conventional sources reduced by at least 10%. This will be achieved by incorporating energy efficiency measures, and by supporting renewable energy deployment.