The government will come out with a single bid for setting up 25 GW of solar capacity in Ladakh, Power Minister R K Singh said today, and asserted that renewable energy is a must for sustainable development. He also said that India will achieve the target of having 175 GW of renewable energy before 2022.
“I am going to come out with the huge bid in Ladakh which is highest solar potential area. I have got a survey done,” he said.
“We have potential of 35 GW in Ladakh. So we will come out with single bid of 25 GW with storage and deliverable at Una,” Singh said at CII’s Government and Business Partnership Conclave here.
He further said that the government will come out with renewable bids with storage component. “We have come out with 10GW solar bid with manufacturing component. We will come out with more such bids to make sure that manufacturing comes to India.”
About 16 GW of renenwables are at various stages of development and about 28 GW has been bid out. “It comes to 116 GW. We will achieve our target of having 175 GW before 2022. Renewable Energy is the future. It is our responsibility to the planet.”
Singh also said that the government will bring tariff policy under which unscheduled load shedding will be penalised.
On load shedding, he said that it is because discoms are unable to recover cost of power and they don’t have the money to sustain the system.
“I am asking the states to give subsidy by direct benefit transfer… The discoms will get money in time. The passing of more than 15 per cent of losses to tariff will be stopped in the law,” he added.
The government has already given one crore and few lakh electricity connections under Saubhagya scheme since beginning of this journey on October 11, 2017 out 3.6 crore unelectrified households, he said.
“As we reach the villages, the number of unelectrified households are coming down from estimates of 3.6 crore families made by states. We find that we have actually fewer houses to cover because some families live together and state went by families. I think we will have to cover 3 crore families out which one crore already covered,” Singh said.
On the Sustainable Development Goals he said, “Three things were at core of SDGs — water, energy and green energy. By adding sustainable (word) tool (to SDG) was itself a sort of quantum jump or leap from what the thinking had been before. Unless development is sustainable, it will not do good to us. That was paradigm shift.”
The minister was of the view that water is an issue which was not there at the time of the country’s independence and has now become a business.
He said, “In rural areas large swathes of population are without access to potable drinking water today. Thousands of villages have high level of arsenic. You have problem of receding ground water. Large zones have become dark zone. You are not allowed to bring bore well water without permission. Our rivers are dying. We need to fix it. That is a challenge.”
As far as energy is concerned, he said: “We cannot grow without energy. Our per capita consumption is one third of the world average. While industrialise, you need to fix the way we would industrialise…”
On the occasion NITI Aayog and industry body CII entered into a partnership on SDGs with a broad objective to improve the use of SDGs among business. This broad objective will be realised through specific activities during the period of the MoU. The activities to be carried out by CII in this partnership will be serviced by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.