State plans to get at least 25 lakh consumers switch to solar power sources

The ongoing cyclical load-shedding during the morning and evening hours in the State will be lifted on or before June 15, Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed has said.

Talking to reporters here on Sunday after the State-level launch of the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology’s (C-DIT) technician training programme on solar photovoltaic systems as part of the Soorya Kerala project, Mr. Mohammed said load-shedding would be lifted without fail on June 15, and if there was copious rain, even before that. With the State making arrangements for supply of power from sources outside the State, there would be no need for load-shedding from next year, he said.

The Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) had given the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) permission to extend load-shedding till June 15, against the board’s request to extend it till the end of June.

Earlier, Mr. Mohammed said that with the Central Forest Department authorities opposing major power projects, there was ‘very little chance’ of more major projects coming up here. The State would be lucky if the proposals awaiting Central approval were given the go-ahead, he said. The only feasible solution was to focus on more non-conventional energy sources, primarily solar, the Minister said.

The government’s aim was to get at least 25 lakh of the State’s 89 lakh domestic consumers to switch to solar power sources, for which several projects were in the pipeline. The target this year was to extend solar power supply to 10,000 houses.

Bank loans

Bank loans to enable more people adopt solar power systems, proposals that included solar panels on road medians, and more subsidies from the Centre for solar power production were being actively pursued, he said.

The C-DIT’s technician training programme was an essential step when the State was seriously thinking of depending more on solar power, the Minister said. The programme will have 40 persons in the first batch for the two-day training and 1,400 persons overall in a phased manner. The training programme should be extended to all districts with the courses to be of at least four days’ duration, he said.

V.P. Joy, Principal Secretary (Finance), C-DIT director Babu Gopalakrishnan and others were present.

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