Power-starved Meghalaya is now eyeing renewable energy to meet the growing demand for electricity in the state, Power Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar has said.
“The main concern facing the state today is power deficit which has greatly affected Meghalaya’s economy and the government has given a lot of thrust towards non-conventional energy which is sustainable as well as eco-friendly,” he said. According to the Central Electricity Authority report 2016-17, the actual shortage of power in Meghalaya is at 5.9 per cent. “No doubt non-renewable energy is needed in our day to day life, but usage of renewable energy side by side can reduce power consumption to a large extent,” Dhar said while inaugurating the exhibition on renewable energy.
The exhibition organised by the Meghalaya New and Renewable Energy Development Agency (MNREDA) was aimed at popularising non-conventional energy among the citizens. “We (government) are aware about the importance of development of renewable energy sources to provide the state with a sustainable amount of energy and the government is committed to extending all support to the on-going programmes of the MNREDA in the development and promotion of renewable energy,” Dhar said.
Meghalaya can generate about 3,669 MW from various renewable energy sources and about 3,000 MW from solar energy. Apart from solar energy, Meghalaya can also tap 165 MW of bio energy, 90 MW from wind energy and 414 MW from small hydro energy. “Globally, importance has been given to clean and sustainable energy which does not depend on exhaustible resources. This includes drawing power from the sun, wind, bio-gas, bio-mass and others,” Principal Secretary in-charge Power, M.S. Rao, said.
Rao said Meghalaya now is largely dependent on power from hydel projects and other source of energy like coal, fossil fuel and others. But such power generation has not only taken a toll on the environment but also gets exhausted at a certain period of time, he said. “We need to create awareness among the masses about the advantages of renewable energy which is not only cost effective but also sustainable,” Rao said.