The Punjab government has decided to explore the possibility of developing solar power clusters to energize agri-pumps in rural areas besides setting up of solar panels on canals and roof tops of big buildings.
Presiding over a meeting, the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal pointed out that the state government was spending a huge amount on providing free power for agri-pumps in the state. He said that there was a large scope for development of solar power clusters in the rural areas to provide power for agri-pumps directly thereby cutting the subsidy and further investing the saved money for production of clean energy. He said that by producing 1000 MW clean power Punjab can earn lot of Carbon Credits besides saving on subsidy.
Setting targets of minimum 500 MW power, each in biomass as well as solar power sectors in next 2 years, the Deputy Chief Minister categorically said that Punjab Energy Development Agency(PEDA) should analyze the reasons for slow implementation of such power plants and directed to remove the bottle necks, if any.
He pointed out that the possibility of using solid waste should also be explored as in coming times the demand for agri-residue was set to be risen.
Punjab Non-Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia informed that PEDA would soon invite bids for 400 MW solar power plants with provision both for new entrants as well as the big investors.
He said that the process for identifying the canals and roof tops for setting up of solar panels has already begun. He said that the state has potential of more than 50 MW solar power productions from roof tops while the canals have the potential of setting up of solar panels for more than 500 MW solar power.