[Environment] Solar Cities and Akshay Urja Shops

Government of India’s initiates to encourage generation of electricity in the field of renewable energy

Solar cities:
Due to rapid industrialization,economic development and urbanization causes rapid rise in energy demand in our urban areas and in industry which results in enhancement of green house gas emissions.the local governments and the electricity utilities are finding it difficult to cope with this rapid rise in demand and as a result most of the cities are facing electricity shortages ,in this context ,the “development of solar cities “ program is designed to encourage urban local bodies to prepare a road map to guide their cities in becoming ‘solar cities”

 The solar city aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, through a combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city . The basic aim is to motivate the local governments for adopting   renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. In solar city  all  types of renewable  energy based projects like  solar,wind ,biomass,small hydro,waste to energy  installed along with possible energy efficiency measures depending on the need and resource availability in the city.

 Identification  of the cities depend  upon city population and commitment  for adoption of renewable energy and energy conservation in the city activities ,initiatives already taken by city council in promoting renewable  energy and energy conservation ,regulatory measures taken on deployment of renewable energy technologies and theirs willingness to provide resources and sustenance of activities initiated under the program. The cities population between 0.50  lakh to 50 lakh ,however relaxation could be considered for special category states including north-eastern states and hilly states ,islands and union territories.
total of 60 cities are proposed to be supported for development as solar cities during the 12th plan period .at  least one city in each state to a maximum of five cities in a state may be supported  by the ministry.

Objectives of the solar city programmes:
oTo enable  and empower urban local governments  to address energy challenges at city level
oTo provide a framework and support to prepare a master plan including assessment of current energy   situation, future demand and action plans.
   To build capacity in the urban local bodies and create awareness among all sections of the civil society
oTo involve various stakeholders in the planning process
oTo oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public-private partnerships

Assistance to urban local governments:
oPreparation of a master plan for increasing renewable energy supply and energy efficiency measures in the city.
oSetting up institutional arrangements for the implementation of the master plan.
oAwareness generation and capacity building  activities .
oImplementation of projects as per financial incentives under various programme.

Financial assistance under solar city programme:
oUp to rs.50.00 lakhs per city is provided depending upon population and initiatives decided to be taken by the city council as following details.
oUp to rs.10.00 lakhs for preparation of a master plan   within a year alongwith few implementable detailed project reports.
oUp to rs.10.00 lakhs for oversight of implementation during three years.
oUp to rs.20.00 lakhs for capacity building and other promotional activites to be utilized in three years.

There are 48 cities to be identifies as solar cities

Agra,moradabad,rajkot,gandhinagar,surat,nagpur,kalyan-dombiwali, thane, nanded, aurangabad, indore, gwalior, bhopal, imphal, kohima. dimapur, dehradun, haridwar-rishikesh,chamoli-gopeshwar, chandigarh, gurgaon, faridabad, coimbatore, vijaywada, bilaspur,raipur,agartala,guwahati,jorhat,hubli,maysore,thiruvananthapuram,amritsar,ludhiana.ajmer ,jaipur,  jodhpur, bhubaneswar
, Aizawl, panji city ,itanagar, hamirpur, shimla, kochi, howrah, rewa       
Akshay Urja Shops:
The ministry has been promoting the establishment of aditya solar shops in major cities of the country since 1995 with a view to make solar energy products easily available and to provide easy after sales repair services.under the present scheme ,the shops are renamed as “akshay urja shops “with a view to cover wider sale and service of all renewable energy devices and systems including solar energy products .the network of the shops will be expanded by encouraging private entrepreneurs and ngos to set up and operate such shops in all districts of the country.

The main objective of the programme is to support the establishment of one shop in each district for creation of a network of retail outlets in form of “akshay urja shops “ in all the districts for sale and service of solar energy and other renewable energy products.

By these solar cities and akshay urja shops government  try to reduce consumption of fuel like coal,crude oil ,gas etc.

Through implementing these schemes urban local bodies are capable to fulfill the requirements of the urban area and reduce the carbon emissions and make the atmosphere pollution free and comfortable.


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