500 MW solar energy to be harnessed by 2024: CM
Chief Minister, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu in a meeting with the World Bank team, headed by Regional Director (Sustainable Development), South Asia Region, Mr. John Roome here today, discussed the Green agenda of the State and the measures to be adopted to achieve the target of 'Green Energy State' by 2025, with the assistance of World Bank.
The World Bank indicated that it is keen on Green Resilient Integrated Development programme for the state with Basin approach with an estimated cost size of Rs. 2500 crore (300 Million US dollars) depending upon the technical analyses, which may be enhanced further.
The visit of the team was going to be a landmark for the transformation of State towards Green Resilient Himachal, said the Chief Minister and highlighted the priorities in terms of Green Agenda for the State.
"As a step towards achieving the target, the State has fixed a time-bound action plan to achieve installation of 200 MW solar power energy projects in next nine months and state will acquire more land for the installation of 500 MW by end of the year 2024", said the Chief Minister.
Transformation towards adoption of Electric Vehicles in the State is of utmost priority and hopes for generous contribution and launch of some key programmes from the World Bank for this purpose, said Sh. Sukhu. Making his intentions clear, Chief Minster said that maximum departments would be switched over to Electric Vehicles (EVs) by next year in the first phase.
Apart from this the Chief Minister also indicated to the team that the State is all set to go ahead in line with National Green Hydrogen Energy Mission in a big way apart from the production. Though the technique of production of Green hydrogen is expensive yet the government will consult Indian Oil Corporation for the same as IOC has taken the first significant step towards Green Hydrogen Economy in India with the commissioning of country's first pure Green Hydrogen pilot plant in Northeast. The Government is committed to make Himachal as the first non-polluted State by reducing carbon emissions completely, claimed Chief Minster.
Mr. John Roome appreciated the farsightedness of Sh. Sukhu for achieving a target of Green and Clean State and said that such commitment and initiatives were a good beginning and wished success in this direction. He said that the EV policy envisioned by the Chief Minister would be taken up on priority and shortly a team from the Bank would visit the state for technical analysis.
Discussions about the future plan of action of the World Bank in the implementation of various programmes in the State focusing on Sustainable Forest Management, Community Forestry, Ecosystem Services, and Disaster management along the Basins, Water Resource Management, Nature-Based Tourism and Payment on Ecosystem Services were also held. The World Bank agreed upon providing its support in the implementation of proposed projects.
Chief Parliamentary Secretary Sanjay Awasthi, Chief Secretary Prabodh Saxena and other senior officers attended the meeting.