Renewable Energy For Making Himachal Carbon Neutral State

Shimla: Striking a balance between developmental needs and environment, the state is poised to gain from becoming a carbon neutral state by checking carbon emission and generating electricity through renewable energy sources.

Long term state polices have refrained for exploiting forest wealth that is pegged at Rs 1.50 lakh crore, said a government spokesman. At the same time the state ensures minimal pollution and carbon emissions, which makes it eligible for developmental cash awards.

To meet the ever increasing demand for electricity, the government plans to bring out a solar energy policy soon. The authorities have thus far installed or distributed 30,573 solar cookers, 185,757 solar domestic lights, 6,325 solar speed lights, 22,394 solar lanterns and 3,573 solar geysers.

These efforts at harnessing solar energy help to save at least 50 million unit of electricity and 1,80,000 gas cylinders, each year, said the spokesman.

HIMURJA, the state agency involved in harnessing renewable energy sources plans to install 2 units of 500 KW of solar plants with central financial assistance by 2013.

The state has decided to entrust the agency with the task of executing 5 MW hydropower projects through it. Of the 21,000 MW of identified hydro energy potential, only 6,500 stands harnessed.

The government has signed 259 memos of understanding for harnessing mini and micro hydro power projects whose capacity has been assessed at 829 MW.

Besides small hydro, HIMURJA was still engaged in bringing more area under irrigation by installing hydrams for lifting water, upgrading of watermill into multipurpose and multi utility units.

The agency also proposes to set up four wind energy generating units of 10 KW each in high altitude Spiti valley on experimental basis, the spokesman said.

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