The UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Sandip Verma has pledged required technical support for Punjab to achieve its target of harnessing 2250 MW power through renewable sources of energy by the year 2022.This assurance was given by her while calling on the Punjab Non Conventional Energy Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia here today at his residence. She pointed out that that increased use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels and minerals and excessive use of replenishable sources like water and forests have been severely effecting our economic growth and development. She said that keeping in view Punjab’s major contribution in ensuring food security, UK was committed to cooperate with it in preserving its natural resources along with sharing the good practices. She also promised to highlight the issue of development of economically viable technologies in renewable power sector as demanded by Mr. Majithia.
Earlier, Mr. Majithia informed her that despite just 2 percent of geographical area, Punjab was contributing around 60 percent share in nation’s food kitty as its endeavour to keep the country self reliant on food grains front. In this process, the rapid decline of its natural resources such as ground water and fertility of land putting a big question mark on state’s future. He said that our country was facing a huge shortage of power but Punjab was all set to become first power surplus state of the country by the end of this year as three thermal plants with joint generation capacity of 3920 MW were almost near completion. He informed that the State government was making concerted efforts to promote clean and green energy but the high costs of equipments required for power plants of renewable sector resulting in very high rates of power in comparison of thermal and hydro power thereby making it financially non viable for the investors.
Mr. Majithia asked that the developed countries should come forward to develop economically viable technologies or equipments for renewable sector power projects to attract investors thereby checking GHG–emissions. He also sought technical guidance for saving the precious ground water and fertility of land. Mr. Majithia also briefly outlined the new initiatives of the state government like green building concept, use of cleaner fuel in the vehicles, rain water harvesting, setting up of bio-medical waste treatment and e-waste disposal facilities, municipal waste management, mandatory use of solar water heating system and usage of LED lamps for home lighting. He said that the state government would introduce Climate Change as compulsory subject in schools and colleges to create awareness amongst students to adopt eco-friendly approach in life.The UK Minister was accompanied by Mr. David Lelliot, British Deputy High Commissioner, and Ms. Rachel Brass, First Secretary-Climate Change British High Commission.