India Initiates Development of Solar Cities

A part of the „Demonstration Project at Gobabe...

A part of the „Demonstration Project at Gobabeb of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency“ (DeGREEE): The solar panels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PIB Features
With Inputs from the Ministry of Power & MNRE, Govt. of India

New Delhi, March 26, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) Our country is passing through a phase of immense and rapid development and hence consequentially the rising demand for energy. Urbanization and industrial growth are only adding to the growing demand. But at the same time, there is also a thrust for using “clean and green” energy so as to reduce the green house gas emissions. Keeping in mind the need of the hour, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has initiated the programme of ‘Development of Solar Cities’.  The programme has been designed to support/encourage Urban Local Bodies to prepare a Road Map to guide their cities in becoming ‘renewable energy cities’ or ‘Solar Cities’.

The Solar City programme aims to consolidate all the efforts of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner. The various initiatives of the Ministry which include promoting solar water heating systems in homes, hotels, hostels, hospitals and industry; deploying Solar Photo Voltaic(SPV) systems/devices in urban areas for demonstration and awareness creation; establishing ‘Akshya Urja Shops’; designing Solar Buildings and promoting urban and industrial waste/ biomass to energy projects would be streamlined under the programme. In a Solar City all types of renewable energy based projects like solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to energy etc. will be installed in an energy efficient manner as well as commensurate with the requirements of the city. The Solar City aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy and increasing energy production through renewable energy. The basic aim is to motivate the local Governments for encouraging and adopting renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.

The Solar City would be identified on the premise of population; potential of renewable energy resources and energy conservation; initiatives taken by local governments as well as the general public and industry in the same arena. The cities may have population between 0.50 lakh to 50 lakh, however, relaxation is considered for special category States including North-Eastern States and hilly States, Islands and Union Territories. A total of 60 cities/towns were identified to be supported for development as Solar Cities during the 11th Plan period. At least one city in each State to a maximum of five cities in a State may be supported by the Ministry as Solar City.

Aims of Solar City Programme

  • To enable and empower Urban Local Governments to address energy challenges at City - level.
  • To provide a framework and support to prepare a Master Plan including assessment of current energy situation, future demand and action plans.
  • To build capacity in the Urban Local Bodies and create awareness among all sections of civil society.
  • To involve various stakeholders in the planning process.
  • To oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public - private partnerships.

The programme seeks to assist the Urban Local Governments financially as well as technically. The local governments would be encouraged to make Master Plan and provide institutional arrangements for it. The master plan of the city will include the base-line for energy consumption during the year 2008, demand forecasting for the years 2013 and 2018, sector-wise strategies and action plan for implementation of renewable energy projects so as to mitigate the fossil fuel consumption in the city. Proper awareness generation activities would be included in the scheme.

Financial Assistance

Under the programme, financial assistance up to Rs. 50.00 Lakhs per city/town is provided depending upon population and initiatives decided to be taken by the City Council/Administration as per the following details:

  • Up to Rs 10.00 lakhs for preparation of a Master Plan within a year  along with few implementable Detailed Project Reports .
  • Up to Rs. 10.00 lakhs for setting up of Solar City Cell and it’s functioning for a period of three years.
  • Up to Rs. 10.00 lakhs for oversight of implementation during three years.
  • Up to Rs. 20 lakhs for capacity building and other promotional activities to be utilized in three years.

In addition, the financial and fiscal incentives available under various programmes of the Ministry are also applicable on the Solar Cities for installation of renewable energy projects, systems and devices.

Solar Cities

An in-principle approval has been given to 48 Cities for Solar Cities which include Agra, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Surat in Gujarat, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Thane, Nanded, Aurangabad and Shirdi in Maharashtra, Indore, Gwalior,  Bhopal and Rewa  in Madhya Pradesh, Imphal in Manipur, Kohima and Dimapur in Nagaland, Dehradun, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Chamoli-Gopeshwar in Uttarakhand, , Gurgaon and Faridabad in Haryana, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh, Bilaspur and Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Agartala in Tripura,  Guwahati and Jorhat in Assam, Hubli-Dharwad and Mysore in Karnataka, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in Kerala, Amritsar, Ludhiana and SAS Nagar Mohali in Punjab, Ajmer, Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Bhubaneswar in Orissa,  Aizawl in Mizoram, Panji City in Goa, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, Hamirpur and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and Howrah in West Bengal and Chandigarh.  Out of them sanctions have been issued for 38  cities namely Agra, Moradabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Surat, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Thane, Aurangabad, Gwalior, Imphal, Kohima, Dimapur, Dehradun, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Chamoli-Gopeshwar, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Coimbatore, Vijayawada, Bilaspur, Raipur, Agartala, Guwahati, Jorhat, Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jodhpur, Bhubaneswar, Aizawl, Panaji City, Itanagar, Hamirpur, Shimla and Shirdi. The Master Plans for 20 cities have already been prepared. Three cities namely Nagpur, Chandigarh and Gandhinagar are being developed as Model Solar Cities.


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