Indian government ropes in Ashrams to promote solar energy; targets 40,000MW of rooftop solar power
The Indian government on Monday, roped in spiritual gurus to promote its target of creating 40,000MW of rooftop solar power capacity. The Union new and renewable energy Ministry is reported to be taking help from spiritual leaders to promote awareness and demonstrate the usefulness of the of green energy. According to reports, these gurus are to act as partners of the International Solar Alliance and are to have ashrams powered by complete solar energy. The international Solar Alliance is a group of over 100 ‘sunshine countries’ between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The initiative was launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Paris climate Summit in 2016.
Top officials in the ministry said that since the spiritual gurus have a large number of followers in India and abroad. Since these followers visit their ashrams in huge numbers, the ministry feels that the gurus are in the best position to showcase the virtue of solar energy and promote the cause of green sustainable energy to protect other non-renewable resources. According to government reports, the Radha Soami Dera in May became the largest single rooftop solar facility in the world. The facility is spread over 80 acres of land and provides an estimated power of about 19MW at the cost Rs 140 crore.
Now, it is to be noted that most ashrams are not well equipped and lack the resources for this kind of work to be done, but since the solar power projects require open spaces for the use of photovoltaic panels that convert the sunlight into another form of energy. A data bank of over 100 large Ashrams is being drawn up to seek cooperation and commitment to the achievement of this project. Since solar projects would also help the ashram reduce the use of other forms of energy, the electricity can be sold to the grid. The government is on its way to achieving a very ambitious target of creating 175GW of solar energy by 2022 which includes 40,000 MW of rooftop solar energy. This is being done as part of the plan to reduce the carbon footprint.