The government has only approved ₹1,016.4 million (~$15.82 million) for the Solar Cities Program in the past four years. For context, the funding amount would be enough to build a 25 MW solar plant.
As part of the India’s twelfth Five-Year Plan, 60 cities, including 13 pilots and five model cities, are set to be developed under the MNRE’s Solar Cities program.
In a written statement to parliament, Union Minister of Power, R.K. Singh informed the house that the master plan for 49 of these solar cities has already been prepared.
“The stakeholder committees have been constituted in 21 cities and solar city cells have been created in 37 solar cities (so far). Solar photovoltaic (PV) projects with aggregate capacity of 8,069.16 kW and solar water heating system with aggregate capacity of 7,894-meter square collector area have (already) been sanctioned under the program,” R.K. Singh’s reply to the Rajya Sabha noted.
“The Solar City Program aims to consolidate all the efforts of the ministry in the urban sector and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner,” MNRE explained in November.
MNRE also sanctioned the preparation of a master plan for 52 Green Campuses to be developed across various educational institutions, offices, and residential complexes in the country.
MNRE has pledged to provide central financial support of up to ₹0.5 million (~$7,780) for the preparation of a master plan for Green Campus development across the country and has already sanctioned ₹25.9 million (~$403,000) of that total. Moreover, approximately ₹10.2 million (~$158,710) had been released for this purpose as of January 31, 2018.
In 2014, the government had approved the implementation of MNRE’s Solar Cities Program. Cities selected for the program are required to submit biannual reports on the details given in their master plans. An evaluation of the program’s implementation will be undertaken at the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan, and it will then be decided whether to extend the program further.
Mercom recently reported on the launch of Solar City Initiative in Delhi that is designed to boost rooftop installations in the national capital.
In January 2018, MNRE had announced that it was planning to spend ₹660 million (~$10.3 million) over the next two financial years to increase renewable energy awareness in India.
Image credit: Wikipedia
Ankita is an editor at MercomIndia.com where she writes and edits clean energy news stories and features. With years of experience in the news business, Ankita has a nose for news and an eye for detail. Prior to Mercom, Ankita was associated with The Times of India as a copy editor for the organization’s digital news desk. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Delhi University and a Postgraduate Diploma in journalism. More articles from Ankita Rajeshwari.