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Chandigarh to become ‘Solar City’

Govt of India has provided ‘in-principle’ clearance to develop Chandigarh as solar city among other 34 cities. According to Tata Energy Research Institute, the potential of Chandigarh among other northern cities is very high. The city can save 20% in residential and commercial sector and 4% in municipal services in water supply and street lights. Plans are on to make ‘Chandigarh’ as a model solar city by adopting energy efficient measures –by generating electricity through solar PV plants.

OERC fixes solar power tariff

Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission has fixed the solar power tariff at Rs.15 per KWH from 1st year to 12th year and Rs.7.5/- per KWH from 13th to 25th year. The above tariff will take into account of all other subsidies provided by centre and other agencies. The connectivity for solar projects will be at 33 KV level. The commission has also roped in World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), a Pune based company to prepare a comprehensive policy guidelines. It may be noted, Sahara India and New Era Power Corporation have proposed to set up 5 Mw solar power plant each in the state. Similary, Solitaire Energies Pvt. Ltd proposes to set up a 5 Mw Grid interactive solar photo voltaic project at Katapalli village in Jharsuguda district and Lanco Solar Pvt. Ltd proposed to set up its 5 Mw unit at Ramdaspur in Cuttack district. Finalizing the power purchase tariff will pave way for new projects.

Solar Panel prices have come down

From 2008, solar panel prices have come down by 50% internationally. What has happened is with the boom and many projects taking off before mid 2008, many manufacturers have built up their inventory levels and expanded their production capacity. Now, with recession effects have made the and orders drying up, in an effort to reduce the inventory levels have pushed the price down. Further, cheap Chinese exports also lead to the casue. Another reason, could be the efficiency of solar panels improving – no. of panels required to generate has also come down (typically by 17%). Though the growth projections will hold their course, but will take some time. With credit availability improving now and governments intervention, solar projects are slowly taking off !

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