Maharashtra approves solar energy policy, offers incentives for power generation
Maharashtra Government on Monday approved an energy policy that seeks to provide sops for solar power generation and encourages public and private entities to tap this renewable source of electricity in a big way.State Cabinet cleared the solar off-grid policy which aims to save at least 500 megawatts (MW) in the next five years.Urban civic bodies and sanctioning authorities have been asked to change Development Control (DC) rules to ensure construction permission is given to only those buildings, which give the undertaking to set up solar water heater panels.The rule will be applicable for the government colonies, Adivasi Ashram Shala (residential schools) and new private buildings all over the state.
“We aim to save at least 500 MW in the next five years through implementation of the new policy,” Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Minister for New and Renewable Energy, told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.”Under the policy, over the next five years, Rs 2,682 crore will be given as subsidy to government offices and people living below poverty line (BPL),” he said.”The government will provide 100% subsidy to government and semi-government offices (for setting up solar power units) while for private sector it will be 15% subsidy.”The administration will promote the use of solar electric powered pumps (for domestic and farm use), water heaters, steam cooking system, and electricity generating plants based on bio-waste.
“An expert committee of consultants will help in drawing project plans, financial closure and setting up rooftop solar panels under the government scheme,” he said.Bawankule said after the grid and off-grid policies, the government will soon come up with energy conservation programme. “All three will help save 1,500 MW (500 MW each) in the next five years.”