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Mysore, Hubli to harness the sun

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Sunset, Sunrise: Solar and other forms of renewable energy will be used to reduce dependence on conventional forms of energy.
Sunset, Sunrise: Solar and other forms of renewable energy will be used to reduce dependence on conventional forms of energy.

Shankar Bennur

They have been selected for ‘Development of Solar Cities’ programme

MYSORE: Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad have been identified for an ambitious programme, “Development of Solar Cities”, being implemented by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

The project will promote the use of renewable energy in urban areas by providing support to urban local bodies for the preparation and implementation of a roadmap to develop “solar cities”. Sixty cities in the country have been identified to be made solar cities by 2012.

Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL) will provide technical support and the Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad municipal corporations will implement the programme.

Master plan

Each will get about Rs 50. lakh to prepare a master plan.

“The idea is to persuade the people and the local bodies to adopt renewable energy so that dependence on conventional energy is reduced. They will be asked to use solar water-heating systems, solar home-lighting systems, solar streetlight control systems, power projects based on urban waste and bio-mass gasification, among other things, to save energy,” said KREDL assistant general manager V. Ramesh.

Mr. Ramesh said the MNRE had directed that cities with a population of more than five lakh and less than 50 lakh be identified for the programme.

“Going by the 2001 Census, the cities of Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad were identified. We will be apprising the Principal Secretary, Urban Development, about the project, and subsequently a communiqué will be sent to the commissioners of the two city corporations to work towards the project,” he said.

The programme will oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public-private partnerships.

“It is not necessary to adopt only solar power, as the name suggests. Any kind of sustainable renewable energy such as wind power can be implemented to address energy demands,” he explained.

A circular from the MNRE issued to Urban Development Departments of various States on February 28, 2008 says that each State will have at least one solar city and solar city cells have to be set up in municipal corporations to achieve the target.

A sum of Rs. 30 crore is expected to be spent on the programme during the 11th Plan period. “We had the option of selecting five cities under the programme, but only two cities could be identified, as other cities do not come under the criteria set for the programme. Relaxation could be considered in the case of special category States such as the north-eastern States,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The project has set a target to reduce the total demand for conventional energy by at least 10 per cent in the next five years with the help of non-conventional energy devices.

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