NAGPUR: We want to make 40 lakh farmers shift from electricity to solar energy in Maharashtra. For this we need to have more solar smart villages, said state energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule here on Friday.
Bawankule was speaking during a seminar ‘Opportunities and promotion of green energy with focus on solar power’, organized by Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE), at Hotel Centre Point, Ramdaspeth. Former minister Annasaheb MK Patil, president of IFGE Vidya Murkumbi and Brijesh Gupta shared the dais. On the occasion, a knowledge paper on solar power was presented by Yes Bank.
Bawankule said, “Apart from providing subsidies to the farmers, we also want to ensure that the water supply to the fields is based on solar energy. An investment of Rs 4 crore is needed to make this possible. Once done, it will relieve the farmers of a lot of their woes.”
The minister further said, “Along the way, we also have to improve other sectors like hydro, waste water management and conversion to LED lights. We have formulated an energy efficient conservation policy which is open to all investors. My vision is to make our state 100% energy efficient.”
The seminar was divided into four sessions. First session’s topic was ‘Status, progress and potential of green solar energy’.
Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) Vishwas Pathak, CEO of Skill Council for Green Jobs (SCGJ) Praveen Saxena, general managers of MSEB SA Patil and HM Kulkarni and environmental engineer Moshina Malhotra spoke in the first session.
Saxena spoke on ‘Skill gaps to meet solar targets: Challenges and opportunities’ and dwelled on the history of how renewable energy was developed in the country. “It was realized soon enough that renewable energy can never be a complete substitute of conventional energy. In the coming years, it will provide employment to a large number of people as this sector is moving very fast,” he said.
Talking about SCGJ, he said, “It was set up by the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship. It’s an autonomous society which is not profit oriented. The focus is on capturing skill requirement of green businesses industry.”
SA Patil talked about the solar energy scenario in Maharashtra. “The pace at which we are consuming renewable energy will pose grave environmental challenges,” he said.
The second session was about ‘Challenges in policy, regulatory and project development’ where director of Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development (CREDA) SK Shukla highlighted the state’s plan to adopt solar energy as the alternate and efficient energy source.
The third session emphasized on the ‘Advancement of solar power – financial, commercial and implementation issues’ while the fourth was a valedictory session, with an open house to see the way forward.