Project aims to achieve 10 per cent reduction in use of conventional energy

Kochi is yet to submit a detailed project report (DPR) on its existing power infrastructure and proposals for making use of non-renewable sources of energy to qualify itself for the solar city project. Kochi is among the cities being considered for implementing the solar city project of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

ICLEI, an international agency having expertise in preparing DPR in energy affairs, has been entrusted with the task of preparing the report. “Efforts are under way to conduct a survey on energy consumption,” said K.J. Sohan, Town Planning Committee chairman of the Kochi Corporation, who is associated with the project. The data on power consumption in domestic and commercial sectors will have to be obtained. The quantum of energy used in street lighting and other purposes will have to be enlisted in the DPR. Local experts in the energy sector will assist the international agency in assessing the consumption patterns, which will be immensely helpful in preparing a roadmap for energy conservation. A solar city cell has already been constituted for overseeing the development in project preparation, as required by MNRE for including the city under its scheme.

The MNRE scheme launched two years ago, envisages reduction in power consumption through utilisation of renewable energy.

Sixty cities were proposed to be developed as solar cities. Union government has given in-principle approval to 55 cities, of which 45 have been sanctioned. Master plans have been finalised for 36 cities. Kochi too will have to submit a master plan after the DPR is accepted by MNRE. The ministry has sanctioned over Rs.21 crore for various cities under the project.

The project intends to achieve 10 per cent reduction in the use of conventional energy in five years by adopting energy-efficient methods as well as through use of renewable energy. Solar water heating systems, solar photovoltaic systems and industrial waste management for power generation are among the components of the solar city project.

The State has announced a solar policy aimed at promoting solar energy in public and private sectors. The policy envisages increase of installed capacity of the solar sector in the State to 500 MW by 2017 and 2500 MW by 2030.

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