SUBJECT :Solar Energy 

 The government today scaled up the budget for grid connected rooftops systems under the National Solar Mission from Rs 600 crore to Rs 5,000 crore to support installation of 4,200-MW capacity systems in the country in the next five years.

The capital subsidy of 30 per cent will be provided for general category states/UTs and 70 per cent for special category states, including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. However, there will be no subsidy for commercial and industrial establishments in the private sector since they are eligible for other benefits.

The government said a large potential is available for generating solar power using unutilised space on rooftops in buildings. So far, 26 states have notified their regulations to provide net metering/gross metering facilities to support solar rooftops installations.

“It is possible to generate solar power from the solar rooftop systems at about Rs.6.50/kWh. This is cheaper than the diesel genset-based electricity generation. It is also cheaper than the cost at which most discoms would make power available,” as per a statement issued by the government. 

Meanwhile, on the eve of the launch of the much-debated odd-even car formula in Delhi, the Centre today issued directions to four states covered under the

Delhi air-shed area — Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh — to control air pollution and improve the ambient air quality in the National Capital Region. The directive requires the states to take action against those found violating the law.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committee (PCC) will be required to acknowledge the receipt of the directions issued by the Centre immediately and communicate the status of the implementation before January 31, 2016, along with the ambient air quality monitoring data maintained by them.

The directions include some immediate actions apart from those that need to be complied within the time-frame of 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 180 days. The states will have to take immediate action against visibly polluting vehicles. They have been asked to conduct checks of overloaded vehicles, ensure “no parking” in non-designated areas, decongest pathways and promote battery-operated vehicles.

Source: The Tribune