Maharashtra approves off-grid power scheme

In a move aimed at generating energy savings, reducing air pollution and bringing power to rural areas, India’s Maharashtra state is set to implement an off-grid energy scheme after it was approved by the state cabinet yesterday.

According to the state's chief minister Devendra Fadnavis (pictured), 'The government has decided to promote solar off-grid energy policy to encourage use of new and renewable energy.'

Under the policy, subsidies will be offered to encourage uptake of residential and commercial on-site solar and biogas power systems as well as microgrids.

Over the next five years, the state aims to generate 200 MWe from on-site solar systems and 4 MWe from biogas, and to set up microgrid pilot projects in two villages which currently lack electricity. The state also aims to install solar heaters in government buildings.

A state spokesman was quoted as saying that the subsidy will cover 100% of the costs of installing 1 kW to 50 kW solar systems for residential housing associations, commercial rooftops and government buildings.

State energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said: ‘As per our plans, the solar power use will help in saving 500 MW of electricity.’  

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