Solar energy to power J&K villages
The Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah has said that the Government intends to use renewable energy to bring electricity to every village in Jammu & Kashmir. Speaking at the All India Editors’ Conference on Social & Infrastructure Issues at Srinagar, Dr. Abdullah mentioned the progress made at Gurez in the State. He said that it is an example where use of renewable energy sources like solar power has brought a positive change in many dimensions of people’s lives.
Replying to a question on use of solar power, the Minister informed the gathering that proposed solar energy mission will have provisions for entrepreneurs that will incentivise investment and reduce the cost for the use of solar panels on a large scale. Dr. Abdullah exhorted the states to put up viable projects for renewable energy and assured full central support.
Earlier Secretary for the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Deepak Gupta detailed various initiatives taken by the Ministry and informed the editors that India is 5th in the World in development of renewable power capacities and third in annual capacity addition for wind energy for year 2008.
With regard to Jammu & Kashmir the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has electrified / illuminated 50 unelectrified census villages in districts of Doda & Kupwara through 8297 solar home lighting systems. Further 27 unelectrified census villages in Gurez Tehsil with 3900 solar home light systems are under completion.
The Ministry has also sanctioned 68 villages for electrification and 145 more villages have been identified for electrification through solar PV System. A large number of solar thermal systems such as water heaters, dish and steam cookers, solar driers and solar green houses have been promoted in the state. The Ministry had sanctioned setting up of 10 Akshay Urja shops in the districts of Jammu, Kishtwar, Srinagar, Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramullah, Ganderbal, Shopian, Kupwara and Budgam.