Power is one of the most critical components of infrastructure and crucial for the development of nations. Electricity demand in the country has increased rapidly and is expected to rise further in the years to come. In order to meet the increasing demand for electricity in the country, massive addition to the installed generating capacity is required.

Keeping in view the future demand of energy, the State run agency Himachal Pradesh Government Energy Development Agency (HIMURJA) is implementing the Renewable Energy Programme in the State. The Renewable Energy Programme is aiming to create awareness and to demonstrate effective and innovative use of Solar Photovoltaic Systems for the individuals, community, institutions and industrial establishments.

The Central financial assistance is available under the Renewable Energy Programme on the Solar Photovoltaic Systems such as Solar Street Lighting Systems, Solar Home Lighting System and Solar Power Plants. The proposals received from the panchayats, institutions and government departments are forwarded to the Centre, for approval of subsidy. Apart from providing support for the installation of Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants, subsidy upto 90 per cent of the bench mark cost for plants is being provided for units being installed in Government buildings. Subsidy upto70 per cent is being provided to residential and social sector.

Till date, the Government has sanctioned 200 kW SPV Power Plant at Baru Sahib, 6.5 Kw Power Plant for H.P. Secretariat , 12 SPV Power Plants of 4 kWp capacity each in the District Collectorates and 20 kW SPV Power Plant at H.P. Vidhan Sabha, Shimla. Similarly, 10 Kw SPV Power Plant for Ranser Island, 10 Kw Power Plant for Kibber, 2 kW each SPV Power Plant in 216 Nos of Police Stations in the State, 450 kW aggregate capacity SPV Power Plants for IPH, District Kangra, 55 Kw aggregate capacity SPV Power Plant at Ridge Maidan, Old Bus Stand and Panchayat Bhawanin Shimla and 25Kw SPV Power Plant at Raj Bhawan Shimla stand installed.

As many as 250 SPV Power Plant of 1 kW capacity each have been sanctioned for individual households in the State, out of which 152 SPV Power Plants have been installed and remaining would be installed soon. 100 KW SPV Power Plant has been installed at HP High Court, 100 KW SPV Power Plant at HP Secretariat, 100 KW SPV Power Plant at HIPA and 50 KW SPV Power Plant have been installed at HP University, Shimla.

HIMURJA has installed 5 kWp at Bachat Bhawan, Reckong-Peo, 5 kWp plants each at ADC Kaza, BSNL Tower Mane Gomga Village, 43 rd BN, ITBP, Sugar Point, Spiti Valley, ITBP Sumdo, Spiti Valley and ITI Solan. 10 kWp has been installed at ITBP Mormi Dogri, Spiti Valley. 2 kWp plants have been installed at ITBP Kaurik, Spiti Valley, ITBP Baryog, Spiti Valley and ITBP Lepcha, Spiti Valley. One 3kWp plant has been installed at IPH Kaza, Spiti Valley.

Apart from these 3 SPV Power Plant of 100 kWp capacity at H.P. Judicial Academy, Gandal, Shimla, 14 SPV Power Plants of 1kWp capacity each of IPH, Kaza, 1 kWp SPV Power Plants in 100 premises of individual households at Pangi and Bharmour, 50 kWp SPV Power Plant at Indian Association of Muscular Dystrophy, Solan, 567 kWp SPV Power Plants in 34 Court Complexes in H.P and 5 Power Plants of 10 kWp SPV each at Village Bara Bhangal in Kangra district are in implementation stage.

The State Government is also providing funds under the Scheduled Caste Component Plan for the installation of SPV Street Lighting Systems in the Scheduled Caste villages which are having 40 per cent or more population of the Scheduled Caste. As many as 7961 SPV lights have been installed under this programme since inception. Apart from this, 55,230 SPV CFL Type Lanterns, 22,586 SPV Home Lights and 674 SPV LED Home Lights have been installed in the State during present tenure of State Government.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.