The Centre will now lead by example in propagating the use of solar energy . At a workshop on rooftop solar to be in New Delhi on Tuesday, 50-odd central ministries will pledge to install solar panels on the rooftops of the buildings they occupy as well as on vacant lands they own to produce power. “Ministries and departments will present commitment certificates to develop rooftop solar,” said Upendra Tripathy, secretary at the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy . “The total commitment will be 5,000 MW. We are looking at a three-year deadline to achieve the target. A list provided by the ministry said the Ministry of Railways would commit to setting up 500 MW, Department of Atomic Energy 500 MW, Department of Food and Public Distribution 355.23 MW, Department of Defence Production 232.25 MW and the Ministry of Steel 230 MW. “Some ministries which do not have adequate rooftop space or areas which satisfy other technical requirements may not pledge,” Tripathy said. Sufficient space for setting up a total of 5,900 MW of solar capacity has been identified across rooftops and available lands of all the organisations under central ministries taken together. PSUs specialising in setting up solar projects have been assigned specific ministries to worth with. The workshop will be inaugurated by Minister for New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal and attended by top bureaucrats including Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha. India has a long way to go in rooftop solar having set itself a target of 40,000 MW by 2022. So far, panels to produce only 300 MW have been installed. Also, projects to produce another 1127 MW have been sanctioned and in-principle approval for 2,403 MW of projects has been considered. Various government bodies at the central and state levels — such as metro rail projects, airports, water supply boards, stadiums and oil companies — have been submitting proposals for rooftop solar projects. The government is making around $2.5 billion (more than Rs 16,800 crore) available to provide low-cost finance for rooftop housing projects. “Our ministry is in negotiations with KfW Development Bank (of Germany) to secure soft loans of 1 billion euro (Rs 7,500 crore),” said Tripathy.
Source: ET Bureau