Project to promote renewable energy in Ladakh approved

Project to promote renewable energy in Ladakh approved New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure Friday approved a project worth Rs 473 crore to promote use of renewable energy in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The implementation of the project will start from June, 2010 and will be completed by December, 2013. The renewable energy projects are expected to result in a saving of about 200 lakh litres of diesel per year," officials said.

With the region rich in solar and hydro resources, it was felt that they can be effectively used for minimising the use of diesel, kerosene and fuel-wood, they said.

Detailed studies were undertaken in Leh and Kargil districts and after consultations with defence officials, Ladakh councils in Leh and Kargil and districts officials, the Ministry prepared the plan for large scale use of renewable energy with a total financial requirement of Rs 473 crore.

Under the plan, 30 small or micro hydel projects aggregating to 23.5 MW capacity, 300 SPV power plants of 5-100 KW capacity, 2000 SPV home lighting systems and about 40,000 solar thermal systems such as water heating, solar cookers, solar passive buildings, solar green house are envisaged to be set up, officials said.

In the project, solar greenhouses are also proposed to be set up, which would help in increasing the production of green vegetables in winters for the region, which are other wise procured from far off places.

New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah will visit Jammu and Kashmir next month to hold discussions with the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is also his son, for speedy implementation of the plan, officials said.

The Ladakh region faces enormous energy adversities throughout the year, which become even more acute during the winter months with the population facing acute problem of fuel for cooking and space heating.