The city Corporation has appointed a Mumbai-based consultant to prepare a master plan to implement the Centre’s decision to turn Thiruvananthapuram into a solar city.

The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has included Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi among the 48 other cities in the country for rolling out the scheme, which aims to reduce the use of conventional energy through a combination of measures including enhancing power supply from renewable energy sources and adopting energy efficiency measures.

The standing committee for Works that met three-days ago decided to appoint Darashaw and Company, one of the 26 agencies approved by the Ministry for preparing the master plan.

The company had been directed to prepare the plan within four months, V.S. Padmakumar, chairman of the committee, told The Hindu.

Master plan

The master plan would feature sites to be taken up for installing non-conventional energy sources, projected energy demand for the city for the years 2013-18, and sector-wise strategy for implementing the programme, Mr. Padmakumar said.

Apart from appointment of a consultant to prepare the plan, the civic body, as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry, had also constituted a ‘solar city cell’ and ‘solar city stakeholders committee’, he said.

An official with Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), a nodal agency for the project, said the intention was to motivate local bodies to adopt renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.

10 per cent

By implementing the programme, the Union Ministry planned to bring down the demand for conventional energy sources by at least 10 per cent in the next five years, he said. Consequent to the approval of the master plan, the Ministry would declare the capital as a solar city and this would enable the Corporation to avail itself of funds to the tune of Rs.50 lakh for promoting solar, wind, biogas, small hydro, and waste-to-energy projects.

Preference

And once the project took off, the city would be given preference in implementing future schemes of the Ministry, he added.

The city was selected taking into account the population, potential for non-conventional energy sources, and on the basis of efforts taken by the administration in conserving energy and promoting renewable energy, Mr. Padmakumar said.