Solar Power

Solar energy has emerged as a pivotal solution to the global energy crisis by providing a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. In the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, the push towards solarisation has gained momentum, with the government prioritising the integration of solar power across various sectors. The J&K Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) is set to implement 70 MW of solar power, covering 8,792 buildings under the Capex mode, with tendering already in progress. Additionally, JAKEDA plans to execute 175 MW covering 7,039 buildings under the RESCO mode, while NHPC will handle 63 MW for 2,838 buildings, including central government structures. Out of the 32,016 government buildings assessed, 22,494 were deemed feasible for solarisation, with 17 per cent already completed, placing J&K among the top performers nationally. Solar energy is a clean, renewable resource that significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. By transitioning to solar power, J&K can mitigate its carbon footprint, contributing to global efforts to combat climate change. This shift is particularly crucial for preserving the region’s delicate ecological balance. Additionally, close coordination with the Power Development Department (PDD) Discoms is crucial for evacuating surplus energy and realizing revenue, delineating clear roles for all associated partners. To facilitate the solarisation process, the Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited (KPDCL) is urging Solar PV vendors to get empanelled for implementing the PM Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana in the Kashmir Division. This scheme aims to extend the benefits of government subsidies to the intended beneficiaries, promoting widespread adoption of solar energy. Under the PM Surya Ghar scheme, beneficiaries can receive significant subsidies for installing solar rooftop plants. The Union Ministry for New & Renewable Energy has set benchmark cost ceilings, ensuring affordability for households. One of the scheme’s highlights is the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of the subsidy directly into beneficiaries’ accounts, simplifying the financial process and encouraging more residents to participate. The solarisation initiative in J&K aims to cover 33,300 beneficiaries by 2027, significantly enhancing the region’s renewable energy capacity. The benefits of this initiative are manifold: By reducing reliance on fossil fuels, solarisation will decrease greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change mitigation and promoting environmental sustainability. The initiative will create jobs in the renewable energy sector, boosting the local economy. Reduced energy costs for government buildings will also result in significant savings. Improved energy security and reliability will enhance the quality of life for residents. Access to clean energy will also promote public health by reducing air pollution. Solarisation will reduce the Union Territory’s dependence on the traditional energy sources. The progress of solarisation in Jammu and Kashmir has been significant, and the benefits of this project are substantial. The government’s commitment to increasing energy independence, reducing carbon footprint and creating jobs is a step in the right direction. The future of solarisation in Jammu and Kashmir looks promising with plans for replication of successful models, increased capacity, private sector participation and grid integration.

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