To tackle the continuous shortage of electricity and power outages, experts at the Gurugram Environment Conclave recommended a need to push towards renewable energy for overcoming the deficit. Officials stated that the city’s demand for electricity has been increasing annually by 10% and corresponding figures from Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran (DHBVN) reveal that there is a 25% shortage in power supply, which has led to 10-12 hours of power outages becoming a regular feature during peak summer.
Further, analysing the city’s 2014 Draft Master Plan, officials added that power is mainly consumed from the industrial sector, while overall demand has increased by 55% since 2005 in all sectors. Hence, to combat Gurgaon’s dependency on diesel generators that severely deteriorates air pollution, officials said that the Haryana government needs to formulate policies on making renewable energy a priority and ensure it is implemented on a large scale basis.
“The city is currently generating 17MW of power through existing solar rooftops and is targeting to generate another 11MW. However, there is endless potential for tapping into solar energy as the state has high intensity solar radiation for more than 320 days,” said Dr Srikant Panigrahi, director general, Indian Institute of Sustainable Development, said. Panigrahi added that Gurgaon is selected as one of the cities for undertaking massive rooftop solar programs by ministry of new and renewable energy.
Key measures listed by officials for switching towards alternative energy include setting of energy performance targets in buildings, promoting and making solar power rooftops mandatory in residential, commercial and government buildings, and ensuring that renewable energies meet at least 5% of the city’s electricity demand.
Officials also added that the government should enable provisions for letting residents sell electricity generated from their solar power rooftops to the state’s electricity bodies. During peak summer, Gurgaon’s electricity demand averages around 1300 MW per day, and DHBVN officials claim there is a shortage of 350 MW.