Solar Power Current Affairs - 2019
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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the launch of KUSUM, Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan scheme. The scheme aims to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.
Component of the Scheme
The scheme has three components:
- 10,000 megawatt (MW) of decentralised ground mounted grid-connected renewable power plants (Component-A).
- Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-B).
- Solarisation of 10 lakh grid-connected solar powered agriculture pumps (Component-C).
Component-B will be implemented in a full-fledged manner whereas Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1,000 MW capacity and one lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps, respectively. They would be scale up later after the pilot run.
Features of the Scheme
- Renewable power plants of capacity 500 kilowatts (kW) to 2 MW will be set up by individual farmers, cooperatives, panchayats, or farmer producer organisations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands.
- The power generated will be purchased by the distribution companies (Discoms) at tariffs determined by respective state electricity regulatory commissions (SERC).
- The scheme will open a stable and continuous source of income to the rural landowners.
- Performance-based incentives at Rs 0.40 per unit for five years will be provided to Discoms.
- Individual farmers will be supported in installing standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 horsepower (HP).
- Solar PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP is allowed under the scheme.
- Individual farmers will be supported to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.
- The farmer will be able to use the generated energy to meet the irrigation needs and the excess available energy will be sold to Discom.
- This creates an avenue for extra income to the farmers, and for the states to meet their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets.
The scheme will have a substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emissions. It is estimated that three components of the scheme combined together would result in savings of about 27 million tonnes of CO2 emission per annum.
Railways form the backbone of the Indian Transportation System. The Railways has undertaken following measures under its Go Green initiatives:
- Ministry of Railways has planned to set up 1000 Mega Watt (MW) solar power by 2020-21. This would help Railways to source about 10% of its electrical energy from renewable source.
- Wind energy plants of 36.5 MW have been installed by the Railways.
- Almost all electrified Railway stations and 99% of service buildings have been fitted with 100% LED luminaries by Indian Railways to reduce power consumption.
- Railways have started blending of 5% bio-diesel in High-Speed Diesel (HSD) for diesel locomotives.
- 20% Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) substitution in diesel engines of Diesel Power Cars of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU) trains and the introduction of solar energy based DEMUs.
- Tree plantation to increase green cover in Railway Premises.
- Water Audits at major consumption centres as well as the proliferation of Water Recycling Plants and Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) Systems as a step towards better water management.
- Assessment and rating of Indian Railway’s Production Units and major Workshops as Green Industrial Units.
- Nearly 163,000 bio-toilets have been installed in around 44,500 coaches.
- Increasing the pace of electrification to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.
Also, the Ministry of Railways has taken a policy decision for allocating 1% cost in all sanctioned works for execution of environment-related works.