- Himachal Pradesh has announced its target for an additional 10 GW renewable energy capacity by 2030
- Hydropower and solar energy will be the mainstay under the new energy policy the state cabinet has approved
- Hybrid power projects will also be part of the policy, the government had earlier stated
Himachal Pradesh in India has approved a green energy policy to add an additional 10 GW renewable energy to its energy portfolio by 2030, relying on hydropower, solar and other green energy sources, announced the state government.
Headed by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the state cabinet approved Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy-2021 for the region to pursue green energy development specially with the help of the 2 specified sources of electricity generation. Hybrid power projects will also be covered under the policy.
Without sharing too many details about individual capacity allocated to the energy sources, the government specified it will encourage the participation of state, joint, central and private sectors. While presenting state budget for FY 2021-22, Thakur had previously said the government will use solar energy driven water pumping schemes to bring down its energy expenditure for drinking water and irrigation.
Grid connected rooftop solar projects will also be promoted for all health and educational institutes.
Focus will also be accorded to developing adequate and efficient transmission network by creating transmission Master Plan, which it believes will facilitate timely execution of hydropower and solar energy projects.
Under HP Solar Power Policy-2016 valid till March 31, 2022, the state was aiming to install about 700 MW solar energy capacity, including around 200 MW required to meet its solar renewable power purchase obligation (RPPO) by 2022.
This is negligible considering the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) estimate of 34 GW solar power potential for Himachal Pradesh counting in 3% of total wasteland and rooftop surface area available. The Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) estimates its potential at about 53 GW taking into account 5% of the waste land.