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| Last Updated:28/09/2020

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Solar energy policy on the cards

The government has decided to formulate a Solar Energy Policy to facilitate speedy harnessing of the solar power potential and help the state meet the mandatory renewable power purchase obligation.

The state has so far not made any headway in the solar power sector and as a result the electricity board has not been able to meet its solar-specific obligation.

As per the regulations, it was mandatory for the state utility to purchase 10.1 per cent power from renewable sources from 2010-11, which was to increase to 11.1 per cent in the following year and 12.1 per cent in the third year and so on.

During the current year, 10 million units of solar power is to be procured for which a minimum installed capacity of 11 MW is required.

The state will still be far behind as the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has mandated a minimum 0.25 per cent solar energy from the current year which should go up to 3 per cent by 2022. The mandatory solar power to be procured will be about 450 million units for which 240 MW of installed capacity will have to be created.

The state has already commissioned 59 small hydropower projects (up to 5 MW) with the aggregate capacity of 225.25 MW. However, it has failed to make a start in the solar power sector for which there is vast potential in the tribal areas such as Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur.

The Tribune (08-10-2013)