Maharashtra govt clears new energy policy: Farmers set to get solar feeders

Maharashtra govt will save Rs 6,000 crore, 1,000 MW; with solar policy, energy at Rs 3 per unit

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:May 31, 2017 4:53 am

The state government on Tuesday unveiled its new energy conservation policy which promises to save Rs 6,000 crore and 1,000 mega watts of electricity. To achieve this target over the period of five years, the total cost required to switch to new technology is estimated to be Rs 807 lakh.

The emphasis is on the use of renewable energy, like solar, and switching to energy efficiency through LED bulbs compulsorily in all the government establishments. The new development plans will also make it compulsory for the projects to adapt to the green energy with larger objective to save fuel and make it less expenditure-oriented.

Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Tuesday said, “Adopting the modern technology, the government has set the target to save 1,000 MW of power consumption in the next five years. We are the first state to adopt this policy.”

The new policy will fetch state revenue of Rs 1,200 crore and generate employment to 8,000 people. The state will provide Rs 807 lakh to facilitate the change. The energy generation should confine to the environmental aspects which have already been broadly defined by the Centre. Twelve departments of the state government have given their consent to the new policy in their respective sectors.

In another decision, the Cabinet gave nod to the Mukhya Mantri Solar Energy policy. The project, undertaken through public and private partnership, will be on government land which would be given on lease for at least 25 years free of cost, subject to its renewal as per the project. The solar energy will be Rs 3 per unit.

At Ahmednagar district’s Ralegan Siddhi and Yavatmal’s Kolbi, the government has taken up a pilot project on solar energy. The objective is to create a separate solar feeder for the agriculture sector.

From agriculture pumps to irrigation, operations will be through solar energy. A committee, led by energy secretary, will tackle the problems while enforcing the solar policy in rural areas of the state. The individual or groups and private and cooperative sectors can avail this solar policy which will extend its services even to the farmers willing to operate or generate 2 MW.

The separate solar feeder will help take the burden off from the current electricity supply to agriculture by almost 30 per cent. Solar energy, which is cheaper, will provide huge financial relief to the farmers. To begin with, the solar projects are being undertaken through public and private partnership.

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