Maharashtra government will soon bring in an off grid energy policy that will promote rooftop solar power generation and provide subsidy to cooperative housing societies and government buildings to encourage electricity generation through the non-conventional method. Elaborating on the policy, Minister for Energy and Renewable Energy Chandrashekhar Bawankule said, “Government wants to promote power generation through solar panels on roof tops of educational campuses and government buildings as well as cooperative societies and private buildings.
” He said state government is also trying to promote solar power pumps for water distribution scheme in rural areas and use of solar energy at government hostels to cook food. According to the policy, Maharashtra will set a target of five years to generate 200 MW power from roof top solar panels, install 10,000 solar pumps for small and medium water distribution scheme, generate 4,000 kilo Watt power from biogas and operate micro-grid pilot project in two villages during upcoming five years span. Once the state cabinet approves the policy, Energy department will install solar heaters having capacity of 318.75 lakh litres in government hostels.
“Legislators and Members of Parliament can use their development funds to promote these schemes,” Bawankule said. It will be made mandatory for District Planning Development Council (DPDC) to reserve 3 percen funds and the state will allocate Rs 300 crore from its annual plan every year to implement the policy, he said. Government offices, cooperative societies and apartments, hospitals and educational trusts will be eligible for a subsidy of Rs 20 per Watt or 20 percen of the project cost whichever is lesser. “Promoting renewable sources of energy will reduce the burden on conventional power plants and it will also save energy,” the minister said.