“The Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is engaged actively in harnessing the immense potential of energy through establishing solar energy reactors, solar street lights, solar hydro thermal system, biomass power plants and mini hydel projects and utilizing the new and renewable sources i.e. sun, air, biomass and water. Apart from this, many projects are in full swing with regard to fulfilling the energy needs of the State. As part of this, solar hydro pumping project would be given impetus which would act as a game changer in the irrigation sector and within a few years span, solar pumps would be installed in large number throughout the state under the solar hydro pumping project.”Disclosing this, the Power and Renewable Energy Minister, Punjab, Gurpreet Singh Kangar said that the present Government has decided to implement solar pumping project big time by providing subsidy upto 80 percent as agreed in the first Cabinet meeting on 18th March, 2017. He further said that a comprehensive plan has been chalked out for installing 20,000 solar pumps in Punjab during the 13th Five Year Plan (2017-2022). During the financial year 2018-19, 2800 solar pumps having a capacity of 2, 3 and 5 HP would be installed under the funding pattern in which the ratio of the Centrally sponsored, State sponsored and beneficiaries has been fixed with Rs. 50 crore being sanctioned by the state. He further said that the solar hydro pumping project is very beneficial for the state government as well as the farming sector and would lead to conservation of the diesel, fuel, environment. He also divulged that the process to invite applications from the farmers for establishing solar pumps is on.
Mr. Kangar also said that awareness is being spread throughout the state concerning the renewable energy and people are exhibiting keen interest in the novel projects. Calling renewable energy a powerful medium, the minister said that it is environmental friendly as well as easily available to the people.The CEO of PEDA, NPS Randhawa added that the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is pushing for the usage of solar energy for the irrigational purposes in the agricultural sector since 2000-2001 and is planning to establish 10 lakh solar pumps in the country by 2020-2021 and the Punjab Government is pushing up the unique project with vigour.Giving more details, he said that the Union Ministry is giving 30 percent subsidy on 1 HP (Horse Power) pumps, 25 percent on 2 & 3 HP pumps and 20 percent on 5 HP pumps. The plan is being implemented by the several states and uptill now, 1.50 lakh solar pumps have been installed across the country.The Punjab Government launched this plan in the year 2000-2001 and till the financial year 2003-2004, 1850 solar pumps were installed. During these years, the Union Ministry and the Punjab Government provided subsidy to the tune of 80 percent and 10 percent respectively on the execution of the plan with the rest 10 percent being contributed by the farmers themselves. During the financial year 2010-2011, the Union Government increased subsidy upto 30 percent and by the year 2013-2014 installed 105 pumps of the 2 HP capacity. He further said that from 2001 till 2014, a total of 1955 pumps have been installed in the state and the project is expected to go full throttle from 2017-2022