JK fails to generate solar power, despite having huge potential

  • State, Published on: Monday 14th November 16 - 8:56pm

Efforts on to exploit all available resources: Govt

Srinagar: Despite Jammu and Kashmir having second highest solar power potential in the country, the authorities has so far failed to harness this energy to meet the power requirement in the state.
The government had formulated Solar Power Policy years back with the sole objective of promoting generation of green and clean power by using solar energy.
However sources on Monday told Global Kashmir that the state was still purchasing energy worth crores annually for its sustenance, which is quite unfortunate. “State is deficit in power supply and even for its own requirement around 70% of power is imported / purchased from outside,” sources maintained.
Quoting official figures, one of the former officials of the PDD told Global Kashmir that, in 2004-05, the state had a demand of 1706 MW and that was going to increase to 2600 MW in 2012-13 and 3500 MW in 2025-26. “This means our demand is going to double in a period of 20 years and J&K would be one of the least per capita consumers of electricity; so this doubling of demand needs to be underlined,” he said.
He said that optimal exploitation of available hydel resources in the State would not only meet the internal demand but will also supply power to the Northern grid to boost the overall development of the State. “Important river basins of State having large potential of power generations of power include Indus and its tributaries, Jhelum and its tributaries, Chenab and its tributaries; as well as Tawi and BE WA water resources,” the former official maintained.
Sources said that all the concerned agencies, which have the mandate to tap the potential in order to make the State self sufficient in power generation has failed to harness even a bit in the same.
Sources said National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), in its study has said that Jammu and Kashmir has solar power potential of 111.05 GWp, which is the second highest in the country after Rajasthan where the potential is 142.32 GWp. None of the other States in the country have the potential even up to 65 GWp.
Sources said that the Union Government had sanctioned some projects in this regard under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) but whether the same have seen light of the day is not known to anybody.
One of the professors of department of Botany, Kashmir University said J&K was rich in resources, “but unfortunately we have not tapped them all.” “For instance, we can identify 15 areas here, where wind mills can be installed. Then we have got very rich resources of biomass available in the state,” he said.
One of the senior officials of the government said that concrete efforts are on to harness the solar energy in the state. “I must say that disturbed atmosphere over the last few years was largely responsible for the “inefficiency” of the power production and distribution system in the state. But yes now the government has taken some concrete steps to harness the solar energy in the state,” the officials said wished not to be named.
It is to mention here that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had recently stated that the State Government would spend Rs 2000 crores for mini-hydel power projects (all between 9 to 15 mw) to harness power potential in Jammu and Kashmir. “The Government would utilize Rs 2000 crores, a provision of which has been kept in the Prime Minister’s Development Package, for construction of mini-hydel power projects of 9 to 15 mw, to help harness power potential in the State,” CM had said.