Punjab Governor urges industry, stakeholders to work towards technological solutions for Energy Storage

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To see blue solar-paneled rooftops and lush green cover when you fly over the region is my dream, says Governor Punjab

To promote clean energy, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised a Conference on Solar Rooftop & Net Metering at CII Northern region Headquarters here today. Addressing the conference, H E Shri VP Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab & Administrator, UT Chandigarh, said, “CII has been very active in the solar and renewable power sectors especially in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. During my stint with the Parliamentary Standing Committee, we had proposed that at least five per cent of power generation from renewables must be made mandatory. I am glad that it has reached 16 to 17 per cent today and going up with each passing day.”

He said, “Storage is the most pressing challenge before the solar industry today.  Solutions for the storage of the surplus power from solar rooftops are needed and CII along with other stakeholders must look into it.”

“Material such as Building Applied Photo Voltaic (BAPV) and Building Integrated Photo Voltaic (BIPV) and micro inverters should be used as these automatically produce electricity. Cold deserts such as Leh Ladakh region are best suited to produce solar power through rooftops as the region does not have the problem of dust and pollution as the deserts of Rajasthan. This can support the entire economy of not only Leh and Ladakh but even Jammu and Kashmir. I would request CII to take up the matter to implement a scheme in this regard with the respective state government,” he said.

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Mr Shailendra Shukla, Chairman, Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA), said, “The Haryana government is targeting 4,200 MW of solar power generation by 2022, including 1,600 MW from roof top solar power plants. Surplus power generated through installation of rooftop solar panels by any kind of building, could be fed into the state grid under net-metering system. The cost of solar power is declining, making it a viable option for not only industrial and commercial buildings but also for individual households. A typical 1-KW solar power plant costs Rs 70,000 to 75,000 and produces about 1,500 units of electricity annually. That means the payback period is just about four years whereas life of the solar panels is more than 25 years. However, regulatory support from the state bodies is of paramount importance for widespread adoption of solar systems under net-metering in India. This will go a long way towards realising the solar mission of 100 GW by 2022.”

Mr Anirudh Tewari, Principal Secretary, Non –Conventional Energy, Government of Punjab, said, “The Government of Punjab has been taking valuable policy inputs from CII and I am sure the views emanating from today’s deliberations will set the pace of a solar rooftop revolution in Punjab. Solar power generation through rooftops becomes crucial in a state like Punjab where every bit of land is used for agriculture. From a mere 9 MW installed capacity in Punjab in 2013, Punjab Energy Development Authority (PEDA) has revolutionized the sector. The state now has an installed capacity of 890 MW out of which 75 MW is from solar rooftops. Instead of promoting solar water heating we must popularize solar rooftops in the state. PEDA has developed great expertise in the sector and has even installed solar rooftops at Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Parliament.”

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“We have also installed canal-based rooftops between Doraha in Ludhiana and Ferozepur. Government of Punjab is now targeting 1500-MW solar panels on float over canals. We have assessed that the Ranjit Sagar Dam has 300 MW of generation capacity,” he said.

“Grid connectivity is a challenge and energy storage is going to be the next big invention for mankind. It will revolutionise how we live,” he added.

Earlier, while setting the context, Mr Ashish Khanna, Co-Chairman, Regional Committee on Power, CII Northern Region & CEO and ED, Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd, said, “India is poised to grow at 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 and 7.7 per cent in 2018-19 which in turn is expected to trigger an enhanced demand for energy. The demand is further expected to get boost in the backdrop of rising population, urbanisation trends and mobility. Thus, it becomes imperative for India to evaluate the supply options and opt for a sustainable means to meet the surging energy demand in the country.

In this scenario, the role of renewable energy becomes very critical in bridging the demand-supply gap. Solar rooftop can be a viable option in meeting the energy requirements of the commercial, residential and industrial users. Many states have announced Net Metering Policy and attractive incentives to promote installation of solar roof top. The objective of organizing the conference is promotion of solar rooftop applications, learning & sharing of good practices being followed by states, exploring ways to install rooftop solar on different types of structures profitably, and grid connectivity.”

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Home SecretaryUT Chandigarh said, “Chandigarh is the only city where the administration has covered all government buildings with solar rooftops and the focus is now on private houses. Chandigarh has achieved 14.3 MW of solar power generation through rooftops. Honorable Governor Sh VP Singh Badnore recently inaugurated 2 MW solar power plant at the Sector 39 water works. The administration is targeting generation of 50 MW power through rooftop solar by 2019-2020. We are going to install 25-MW rooftop solar over Patiala Ki Rao.”

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“The administration has made the process of availing subsidies etc to install solar rooftops very easy with the launch of a website solarchandigarh.com where anyone can apply for the same. To make the solar rooftop revolution a success we need maximum participation of the citizens. Honorable Governor Sh VP Singh Badnore has envisioned a region where all rooftops are blue cushioned with lush Green tree cover by 2022,” he said.

“As per the building byelaws amended last, Chandigarh made it mandatory to have solar rooftops for buildings with area of 500 sq yards or more,” he added.

Mr Vikram Hans, Mr Vikram Hans, Past Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council & Managing Director, Multi Overseas India Pvt Ltd, said, “We are blessed with abundant sunshine and I urge industry members to adopt solar power in their respective units.”

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