Modi calls for a rooftop-solar-powered city in every state

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Prime minister Narendra Modi has called for a major city in every Indian state to be powered entirely by rooftop solar.

The PM also repeated an oft-heard call to develop a domestic solar manufacturing industry as he chaired a meeting to review the work of the ministries of power and new and renewable energy.

“Each state should have at least one city – either a capital city or any renowned tourist destination – entirely powered by rooftop solar systems,” suggested Modi at the meeting.

Modi said developing an ecosystem for the manufacture of ingots, wafers and solar cells and modules would help India generate employment as well as offering other advantages.

The head of state also emphasized the need to adopt an holistic approach for the agricultural sector solar supply chain, from PV-powered water pumps to decentralized, solar-powered cold storage.

With the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) disbursing around Rs25 crore of federal government central financial assistance (CFA) aimed at providing all the energy needs of the town of Konark, in Odisha, from solar, Modi also pressed officials to expedite a plan to make the region of Ladakh carbon-neutral. The PM added, drinking water in coastal areas should harness solar and wind power.

State action

Ministry officials also discussed power sector legislation including a revised tariff policy and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020 at the meeting.

Prime Minister Modi emphasized the need to enhance consumer satisfaction while increasing operational efficiency and improving the financial sustainability of the energy sector. He pointed out the problems facing the industry, especially electricity distribution, varied by state and region and should be dealt with on a bespoke basis.

Modi also asked the Ministry of Power to ensure electric distribution companies published performance parameters so consumers could understand how their discoms were faring compared to their peers.

The equipment used by the power sector across the nation should all be made in India, added the prime minister.