Govt clears plan for 60 solar cities

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Rs 100 crore has been allocated for the scheme

The Centre will kick off an ambitious scheme to develop 60 solar cities in two years. It will be done in collaboration with city corporations, municipalities and district councils.

A token amount of Rs 100 crore has already been allocated for developing the solar cities aimed at reducing demand for conventional energy resources by 10 per cent in five years.

A two-pronged strategy has been put in place to achieve this demand reduction from conventional energy sources -- bring about energy efficiency in goods and services, and enhance power supply from renewable energy sources through solar cities.

“The scheme aims to promote the use of renewable energy in urban areas by providing support to municipal corporations for preparation and implementation of a road map to develop their cities as solar cities,” an official in the ministry of new and renewable energy said. This plan is likely to be ready in one year from the date of sanctioning by the ministry.

An indicative target of 60 cities, towns and urban agglomerations duly notified by municipal authorities with at least one in each state has been set for the 11th plan period including 2010-11, he said.

With the scheme, the focus would be on renewable energy devices such as kitchen waste-based plants, solar water heating systems, solar cooking systems, solar steam generation, drying and air heating systems, solar air-conditioning, bio-mass gasification based systems and biogas, the official said.

The scheme proposes to empower urban local governments in addressing energy challenges at the city level. Awareness creation and overseeing implementation of sustainable energy options through public-private partnerships would also be part of the scheme.

The targets will be achieved by providing support for preparation of a master plan for the respective cities, setting up of solar city cells in each council, organising training programmes and workshops for various stakeholders in creating public information and awareness.

Ten cities within the above target are proposed as pilot solar cities and four cities as model solar cities with part financial support for installation of renewable energy and energy conservation projects.

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