Uttar Pradesh is set to become a hub of solar energy production in India with villages and streets of the state to be lit up with solar lamps.
"Honouring his pledge to bring about a revolution in solar energy generation in the state, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken several initiatives in the last four years, including adopting a comprehensive solar power policy and launching 24 new solar power projects of 420 megawatt capacity," Minister for Non-conventional Energy Brajesh Pathak said.
He said under the new solar energy policy, the Yogi government had approved a proposal for setting up solar power plants at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore by 2022 in order to produce 1,535 MW solar energy and the 24 new plants had currently increased solar power generation to 1,140 MW in UP.
Besides, he said, the government had laid a network for rural electrification in the state.
"With the efforts of the Yogi government, solar rooftops of 225 MW capacity have been installed in the state while markets and roads in the countryside are lit up with solar street lights," the minister said. Under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Solar Street Light Scheme, solar street lights have been installed in 25,569 markets. Apart from this, installation of 13,791 solar street lights in selected revenue villages under Mukhyamantri Samagra Gram Vikas Yojana is underway. Furthermore, 19,579 solar pumps have been installed to help farmers in irrigation of their farms.
The installation of 1,80,000 solar power units in villages has already transformed the picture of villages where power outage has become a rare affair. This stands in sharp contrast to the situation during previous governments when people used to yearn for electricity for four hours.
"The Yogi government has managed to overcome the power crisis in the state through his thrust on solar energy. As a result of the government's initiative the Energy Conservation Building Code 2018 has come into force to save energy in commercial buildings. The government invited private investment of Rs 2,492 crore under Bio-Energy Enterprise Promotion Policy, which helped in setting up solar power units of 180 MW at a cost of Rs 720 crore," Pathak said.
Also, it was for the first time during the Yogi government that 3,400 solar RO water plants were installed in primary schools to make safe drinking water available to children at schools, he said.