Taking a giant leap towards sensitizing the younger generation for energy saving as well as of importance of renewable energy for smart living, Punjab today becomes the first state in country, which has started a ‘State Energy Conservation & Efficiency Campaign’ with a target to achieve energy saving of 20 percent in domestic sector in coming five years. Another purpose of this unique initiative is to rope in 40 lac school students in next three years to make them not only the ambassadors for energy saving but also for promoting the renewable energy in a big way thereby making this clean energy a significant part of their lives.In an impressive function held here today at the main auditorium of Lovely Professional University, Punjab New & Renewable Energy Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia and Education Minister Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema jointly launched ‘Punjab State Energy Conservation & Efficiency Campaign’ which was followed by a special workshop for more than 1200 school Principals and Science Teachers/Eco club coordinators of Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts.Speaking on the occasion, Majithia said that over dependence on thermal power and hydroelectric power was resulting in global warming, climate change and contamination thereby health hazards were multiplying. He said that resultantly we were compelled to incur high costs for creating infrastructure like hospitals, disaster prevention/management and rehabilitation infrastructure etc.
He said that keeping in view this precarious situation, it becomes imperative for us to produce energy but not by burning fossil fuels rather by saving energy as well as generating energy from renewable sources like solar, wind, biomass and small scale hydroelectric. He said that the purpose of starting this campaign was to create energy auditors amongst school students, principals and teachers. He said that the target was to cover all government and private High and Senior Secondary schools involving 40 lac students in coming three years. He said that under this initiative the students will be trained to understand the energy bill, conduct energy audit of school/home at their own level & also spread the message among the parents, relatives & friends. He also suggested the Education Minister to include energy conservation & efficiency as an important part of syllabus.
Majithia said that as targeted Punjab with 20 percent energy saving can spare 1900 MW of thermal Capacity avoiding cost on infrastructure development to the tune of Rs.12,500/- Crore. In domestic sector alone, Punjab can spare 530 MW thermal capacity avoiding cost on infrastructure development to the tune of 3,500/- Crore. Funds required for replacing 1800 MW thermal power with solar power, we require Rs.12,600/-crore and Public can directly save Rs. 2,000/-Crore every year. Majithia informed that the best Schools in every District will be recognized every year. State Level Function will be organized and the best top schools will be awarded with a cash prize in 5 categories, 1st Prize Rs. 15,000/-, 2nd Prize Rs. 12,000/-, 3rd Prize Rs. 10,000/-, 4th Prize Rs. 8,000/- and 5th Prize Rs. 5,000/- with a total cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- per district. The total Rs. 11 Lacs cash prizes will be distributed in all the 22 districts in the state every year.Briefly outlining the achievement of Punjab on Renewable energy front, Mr. Majithia revealed that in February 2012, the state had installed capacity of just 9 MW which has reached 225 MW with an investment of Rs. 1500 crore. He said that 24 Projects (Rs. 1300 Crore) of 184 MW have already been commissioned and 4 Projects of 38 MW were under implementation. Besides this, 24 new Projects of 229 MW Capacity plus 65 MW rooftop with an investment of Rs. 2100 crore were all set to be started soon. The state was also starting a Farmers solar power generation scheme of 500MW shortly. He further said that India’s largest rooftop plant of 7.50 MW has been set up at Beas, Amritsar in 2014 and it was being expanded to 31.5 MW which will make it the World’s largest rooftop PV plant. He informed that PEDA has recently successfully floated India’s largest Rooftop solar tender attracting bids for 65 MW. He said that the state has notified Net Metering policy with a view to take the concept of clean and green living to every house and the target was to install 200 MW in next 3 years. 1100 applications have already been received in 3 months.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema, Education Minister appreciated this unique joint initiative of PEDA and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, GOI and said that the state education department was fully committed to make this campaign a grand success. He said that Children are powerful agents of change; they may adopt lifestyle which would ensure efficient use of energy. He said that under this ambitious campaign all 4361 Government and Private (4361) High and Senior Secondary Schools would be covered by involving 8722 Principal / Science Teachers / ECO club coordinators and more than 40 Lacs students to be involved in three years. He said that today than 1000 Principals & School teachers from Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts were participating in this workshop.
Mr. Sanjay Seth, Senior Energy Economist highlighted the need and initiatives being taken for Energy Conservation as well as energy efficiency. Dr. Amarpal Singh, Chief Executive PEDA welcomed the participants & also expressed his gratitude for cooperation & coordination of Department of School Education Punjab and Lovely Professional University. Mr. Ramesh Mittal, Chairman, Mr. Ashok Mittal, Chancellor, LPU, Mr. PT Bhutia, Director, Ministry of Power, GOI and Mr. Balore Singh , Director, PEDA was also present on the occasion.