Solar Odisha – A Vision: 18th February 2011 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

In continuation of the Odisha Climate Change Action Plan (OCCAP) and to promote green energy in the state both in terms of on-grid and off-grid solar applications, Youth For Nation (YFN), a group of intellectual youths including techies, economists, environmentalists, industrialists, consultants etc. along with Odisha Nagarika Samaj (ONAS) has proposed a Draft Solar Policy to the Govt. of Orissa namely ‘Solar Odisha – A Vision’.

YFN has invited Canyon Consultancy Pvt. Ltd (CCPL) and World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE) as knowledge partners to prepare this document. This is the first ever solar conference organized in Odisha, where all the stakeholders, such as, S&T Dept., OREDA, GRIDCO, OERC etc. were invited to discuss possible solar solutions. UNDP was also invited to this event.

Inaugurating the report and gracing the occasion, Dr. D.K. Roy, Ex-Chairman, OERC, praised YFN for voluntarily proposing the policy to the state govt. and asked for more and more such participation from youths. He also asked S&T and OREDA to conduct  workshops to find long term energy solutions through solar energy and to increase awareness amongst the mass to adopt green energy. He stressed the issue of merging OREDA into the Energy department and renaming Energy dept. as Energy and Environment Dept.

Other eminent personalities gracing the occasion included Dr. Bhagban Prakash, Chairman, ONAS; Mr. Aditya Samantaray of OERC, Ms Sasmita Patjoshi of GRIDCO & OPTCL; Shri Ambika Nanda, UNDP state project officer, Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Founder of HDF, and Ms. Shikha Srivastav of UNDP.

Dr. Bhagban Prakash convened the conference with his thorough knowledge about the youth policy and youth involvement in policy making under AGENDA 21.

YFN’s state convener Mr. Swayam Prakash Baral and Mr. Debanand Panigrahi explained about the current industrialization in Odisha, its effect on environment and the possible solution through promotion of green energy in the state. According to YFN by 2017, 33 coal-fired power plant totaling 38,000MW, which is valued at Rs.1,90,000 Cr, would be set-up in the state of Odisha. This will lead to 190mn tons of coal consumption generating 76mn tons of fly ash and more than 800mn tons of CO2.

Mr. Chandrashekhar Mishra, Managing Director of Canyon Consultancy Pvt. Ltd, knowledge partner for the vision, explained the entire draft policy. He spoke in favour of having an independent solar policy for the state. According to him, solar could be the best possible solution for Odisha’s future energy demand. In his presentation he explained the current scenario of Solar industry across India and how Odisha can also promote solar projects with a target of 5,000MW by 2020 – 1,000MW by 2015 and another 4,000MW by 2020, which he calls learning and matured phases, respectively. He also explained about the possible funding and control plans of the vision. According to him,  all the stakeholders should come together more often and find possible solutions.

According to Chandrashekhar, 8MW’s of solar grid-connected projects at various locations and a 50kW solar off-grid project in Odisha secretariat are going to be commissioned in this year.

As per the vision document, through an investment of Rs.12,000 Crores, approximately  10,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs would be created. Through 2,500 million units of electricity generation, the state could save about 18 lakh tons of coal. Other than this there are benefits of off-grid solar applications in various establishments to reduce load on the grid, which has been explained in the document.

Ms. Patjoshi extended her best possible help from the Management of GRIDCO towards the vision.

Other dignitaries, such as Shri Ambika, Shri Dhanada, Ms. Shikha speaking at the occasion praised the vision and gave their valuable input as to how to reach out to the hinterlands through the blessed solar energy.

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