Government aims to generate 1 lakh megawatt of solar power by 2022: Piyush Goyal

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The Union power ministry will fast-track solar and thermal projects in Northeast India where big hydroelectric projects are caught in a logjam.

To start with, a 40 MW of solar unit will be set up in Assam, Piyush Goyal, Union minister for power, coal, and new and renewable energy, said on Friday. The minister, in Guwahati to attend a meeting of state power ministers, said he discussed the matter with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

The state government has agreed to offer land for the project, Goyal said. “We will also initiate study to find the prospects of canal and river top solar. Gujarat has done this.”

He said the Centre has a target of generating 1,00,000 MW of solar power by 2022.

A study will be conducted to look at the mining plan of the Northeast, he said. “We will see if North Eastern Coalfields Ltd of Coal India Ltd, which produces 1 million tonnes (of coal) per annum, can increase its production further.”

Goyal said there will be no compromise on environment. He said government will act according to the finding of the expert committee which is looking into NHPC’s 2000 MW Lower Subansiri hydropower project along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.

He said around Rs 6,000 crore has so far been invested in the project which is halted for almost five years now. “We expect the committee to give its recommendations quickly … we will study the same and take appropriate action.”

PK Sinha, secretary at the Union Ministry of Power, said the two-day conference of power ministers discussed strategies for making available affordable, 24×7 power to all households by 2019, besides cutting the transmission and distribution losses and increasing rural electrification.

The conference also discussed amendments to the power policy to promote renewal energy, he said.

Source: Economic Times

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