Delhi’s Budget Wakes Up To Green Potential, targets 2500 MW solar in 5 years

Delhi’s Budget Wakes Up To Green Potential, targets 2500 MW solar in 5 years

Delhi’s state government, run by the Aam Aadmi Party through it’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has finally woken up to the potential in green jobs. In the annual budget presented by state finance minister Manish Sisodia for financial year 2022-23, branded the Rozgar budget or Jobs budget, the government has finally shown awareness of the opportunities the city state offers for green jobs.

With one of the more affluent population base and highest consumption centre if we take the NCR (National capital region as a whole), the Delhi region always needed to take the lead in green initiatives, something it had failed to do until now. Now, that could be changing in one of the world’s most polluted cities.

The state government has declared an intention to add 2500 MW of solar to the city’s energy mix through local solar, in the next 5 years. This itself should lead to the creation of 40,000 jobs required for erection, maintainance and marketing etc. The move comes at an opportune time, as the central government has also planned to add 4000 mw of rooftop solar soon, in its latest projections and plans for the residential sector.

On the EV front, Delhi, which is the highest buyer of vehicles nationally, is already leading on EV registrations. Sisodia said that the share of EV vehicles has increased from 1.2 percent in 2019-20 to 10 percent in February 2022. 20,000 jobs are targeted in the sector by the state budget, required for the running, maintainance and operations of EV vehicles and related infra like EV charging stations.

While 4200 e-autos will be launched this year according to the budget, 5000 permits per year will be issued for the next 5 years to add 25,000 quality e-autos to the city fleet, and create jobs.

For the record, the capital has had a very poor record till date on rooftop solar additions, or it’s overall solar additions, reaching barely 10% of its target of 2700 MW by this year. So in effect, the government finally seems to be going for the target 5 years behind schedule in this year’s budget. Solar rooftop necessarily has to dominate in the city, considering the high cost of land and low availability.

One hopes that with the new resolve, the government will see greater success in its second coming for green initiatives. This is also a crucial year for major water treatment projects, which collectively hope to make the city’s lifeline and key river Yamuna, reach ‘live’ status by 2023 end.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International