Amended construction bylaws to make solar power mandatory for new projects in Goa

Environment minister Nilesh Cabral has reportedly proposed to amend construction bylaws and make solar power connections mandatory for new projects.

The state government aims at converting at least 10,000 of the 6.7 lakh electricity consumers in the state into solar power users over the next one year said Cabral.

Speaking to the publication Cabral said he has written to town and country planning (TCP) minister Chandrakant Kavalekar pitching for changes to be effected in the building bylaws to make it solar power installations compulsory for new construction projects.

The state notified the Solar Power Policy in December 2017 and amended it this February. As per the policy, no permission is required from the TCP department for the setting up of a solar farm, including construction for operational space.

The environment minister said that so far, less than 400 people in the state have opted for solar power. In order to encourage use of this alternative source of energy, he said he would write to the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) and request it to make adequate changes to its guidelines.

Goa’s solar power policy provides for benefit in the form of a 50% government subsidy for the consumer and producer of solar power. The government’s view is that technological improvements have made the generation of solar energy economically viable and could reduce the state’s expenditure for the purchase of conventional power from the grid.

Under the policy, the government provides 50% subsidy, including a 30% share from the Centre, for the capital cost or the benchmark cost provided by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), or cost arrived at through the tendering process by the Goa Energy Development Agency.

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