RAMPING UP RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES IS PRIORITY OF MANN GOVERNMENT: AMAN ARORA
• NEW AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES MINISTER REVIEWS MAJOR PROJECTS OF THE PUNJAB ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
• DIRECTS OFFICIALS TO EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY OF CANAL TOP SOLAR PV PROJECTS AND FLOATING SOLAR PV PROJECTS AT BATHINDA & LEHRA MOHABBAT
Chandigarh, July 20:
Punjab Chief Minister S. Bhagwant Mann-led State Government will ramp up renewable energy sources to ensure optimum use of natural solar energy for providing a clean and green environment to the people of the state, stated Mr. Aman Arora, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Sources, while reviewing the major projects of the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).
Chairing the high-level meeting at PEDA Bhawan here, the Cabinet Minister directed the officials to assess the feasibility of solarisation of agricultural pumps as many farmers have been using diesel agri-pumps to irrigate their crops, which has been increasing agriculture input costs and polluting the environment. “But, our government was fully committed to increasing the income of the farmers by reducing their expenses on farming”, said the minister.
The Minister was apprised that a total of 15525 solar pumps have already been installed in the State and the target of equipping 9000 pumps with solar panels has been sought from GoI for FY 2022-23. Notably, around 13.88 lakh electric motor pump sets are being used for irrigation in the state and the state government provides free power of worth Rs.6988 Crore annually.
Mr. Aman Arora also asked the officials to explore the possibility of Floating Solar PV Projects at Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant, Lehra Mohabbat, besides exploring modalities for installation of more Canal Top Solar PV Projects in the state.
Chief Executive PEDA Mr. Sumeet Jarangal apprised the Minister that there is the potential of about 1750 MW capacity Solar Power Projects on the top of canals. Of which only 20MW has been harnessed.
During the meeting, Rooftop PV Projects on warehouses/sheds have also been discussed. The Cabinet Minister asked the officials to look at the possibilities to establish Compressed Biogas (CBG) projects to make better use of crop residue, apart from strengthening the rural economy. Solar power, biogas and other green energy technologies could prove as a game changer for the state, he added.
Discussing upcoming Compressed Biogas projects on the issue of utilizing paddy straw as fuel, the Minister was briefed that about 1.8 million tons per annum of paddy straw is planned to be utilised in the under implementation 42 Compressed Biogas projects for the production of 492.58 TPD CBG alloted by PEDA and the largest project of total
capacity 33.23 ton CBG per day has been commissioned at village Bhuttal Kalan of tehsil Lehragaga in
Sangrur. Two more CBG projects of 15 TPD are at the advanced stage of commissioning. These projects are expected to be commissioned by end of this year.
Mr. Aman Arora directed the officials to prepare concept notes on these projects taken up in the meeting to further discuss at higher-level in the government.
Expressing anguish over the callous attitude of previous governments towards the problem of environmental pollution, the Cabinet Minister also directed that a special focus should be given to transitioning to renewables and green energy to deal with rising energy costs and combat climate change. These steps will not only help us reduce the carbon emission to achieve the target of a green and clean Punjab, but also will bring huge progress toward sustainable development, he added.