Environment

Towards making Rajasthan No 1 in Renewable Energy

Rajasthan has a potential to generate 142 gigawatts of solar power and 127Gw of wind power

Energy Minister BD Kalla said that Rajasthan will be made number one State in the country in regard to solar energy and solar park worth Rs 4000 crore with capacity of 925Mw at Nokh in Jaisalmer district will prove to be a milestone in the field of Green Energy.

He said that Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Limited and National Thermal Power Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding for setting up solar park. He said that Rajasthan has huge potential to generate solar power, but Western part of the State is considered best for it in regard to availability of solar radiation. The State has a potential to generate 142 gigawatts of solar power and 127Gw of wind power. The State government exploiting this potential is continuously taking steps to make Rajasthan the number one in solar energy in the country. He said at present 5000Mw solar energy is generated in the State. The solar energy generation from the solar park in Nokh will start by December 2021.

Kalla said that State Government plans to systematically harness this potential and chief minister Ashok Gehlot recently announced Rajasthan Solar Energy Policy, 2019 and Rajasthan Wind and Hybrid Energy Policy, 2019. The investors have been given concession on ceiling and stamp duty and freedom from land conversion and other attractive provisions.

Energy Minister said that officers have been directed to focus on conducting research to develop storage capacity of solar energy. He said hydrocarbon and lithium batteries are being used to store solar energy in many places of the world. The state on developing such batteries will prove helpful for farmers as they can use solar energy in night also.

Kalla said that nature has bestowed Rajasthan with abundant solar radiation throughout the year along with the State has vast uncultivable land strips and these will make Rajasthan a front-runner in solar sector.  Similarly, he said that hybridisation of wind and solar will lead to optimum utilisation of infrastructure – land and transmission system.

He said the objective of promoting solar and wind power projects in the State is to protect the environment, become self-dependent in regard to power, employment generation, innovation (introduction of new technology) and benefit the industrial and domestic  consumers and farmers.

According to information from the department, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) with help of the State Government has identified land in border areas districts to generate 20,000MW Solar Energy. Two hectares of land is required for generating 1MW of solar power, while 3 hectares of land is required for generating one megawatt of power from wind. Currently, more than 22,000 hectares of land is being utilised for generating solar and wind energy in the State. Apart from generating 5000Mw solar energy and more than 4,300MW energy is being generated from wind.

According to the department officer there is a distance of 450-500 metres between two windmills/turbines and the existing wind projects can utilise this space and can set up solar project. In this hybrid system, there will be optimum use of land along with the same line to Grid can be used during daytime for solar and in night for power generated through wind. Similarly, the existing thermal power plants can also add solar/wind project in their existing land which can help reduce the dependability on fossil fuels.

According to a study of National Institute of Wind Energy (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), turbine with height of 100 metres has potential to generate 18GW power, while turbine of 120 metres has potential to generate 127GW of power.

Energy department principal secretary Ajitabh Sharma said that there will be an investment of Rs 4000 crore under the agreement with the Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Limited and National Thermal Power Corporation, which is the biggest investment in the period of the present government. The State under this agreement will get Rs 450 crore from the development fund and revenue of Rs 180 crore in form of GST.

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