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Solar / Green Cities


1.0     Need for Solar Cities

Urbanization and economic development are leading to a rapid rise in energy demand in urban areas in our country leading to enhanced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Many cities around the world are setting targets and introducing polices for promoting renewable energy and reducing GHG emissions and the countries like Australia and USA are developing the solar cities. 

Several Indian cities and towns are experiencing rapid growth in the peak electricity demand. The local governments and the electricity utilities are finding it difficult to cope with this rapid rise in demand and as a result most of the cities/towns are facing electricity shortages. In this context, the “Development of Solar Cities” programme    is designed to support/encourage Urban Local Bodies to prepare a Road Map to guide their cities in becoming ‘renewable energy cities’ or ‘solar cities’.

The Ministry has already initiated various programmes in the Urban Sector for promoting solar water heating systems in homes, hotels, hostels, hospitals and industry; deployment of SPV systems/devices in urban areas for demonstration and awareness creation; establishment of ‘Akshya Urja Shops’; design of Solar Buildings and promoting urban and industrial waste/ biomass to energy projects. The solar city programme aims to consolidate all the efforts of the Ministry in the Urban Sector and address the energy problem of the urban areas in a holistic manner. 

2.0     What is a Solar City?

The Solar City aims at minimum 10% reduction in projected demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, through a combination of enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city and energy efficiency measures. The basic aim is to motivate the local Governments for adopting renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. In a Solar City all types of renewable energy based projects like solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to energy etc. may be installed alongwith possible energy efficiency measures depending on the need and resource availability in the city. 

3.0     How do you identify a city for developing as Solar City?

 The city is identified based on city population, potential and commitment for adoption of renewable energy and energy conservation in the city activities, initiatives already taken by City Council/ Administration/ Private Developers/Industry/General Public in promoting renewable energy and energy conservation, regulatory measures taken on deployment of renewable energy technologies and their willingness to provide resources and sustenance of activities initiated under the program.  The cities may have population between 0.50 lakh to 50 lakh, however, relaxation could be considered for special category States including North-Eastern States and hilly States, Islands and Union Territories.

 4.0     Number of cities to be developed as Solar Cities

 A total of 60 cities/towns are proposed to be supported for development as Solar Cities during the 11th Plan period. At least one city in each State to a maximum of five cities in a State may be supported by the Ministry.  

5.0     Objectives of the Solar City programme  

 The Solar City programme aims 

  • To enable and empower Urban Local Governments to address energy challenges at City - level.
  •  To provide a framework and support to prepare a Master Plan including assessment of current energy situation, future demand and action plans. 
  • To build capacity in the Urban Local Bodies and create awareness among all sections of civil society. 
  • To involve various stakeholders in the planning process. 
  • To oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public - private partnerships.

 6.0     Assistance to Urban Local Governments

 The program assists Urban Local Governments by providing financial assistance and technical help for:

  •  Preparation of a master plan for increasing renewable energy supply and energy efficiency measures in the city
  • Setting-up institutional arrangements for the implementation of the master plan.
  • Awareness generation and capacity building activities.
  • Implementation of projects as per financial incentives under various programmes of MNRE.

7.0     Financial assistance under Solar City Programme  

Up to Rs. 50.00 Lakhs per city/town is provided depending upon population and initiatives decided to be taken by the City Council/ Administration as following details: 

  •  Up to Rs 10.00 lakhs for preparation of a Master Plan within a year alongwith few implementable Detailed Project Reports .
  • Up to Rs. 10.00 lakhs for setting up of Solar City Cell and it’s functioning for a period of three years.
  • Up to Rs. 10.00 lakhs for oversight of implementation during three years.
  • Up to Rs. 20 lakhs for capacity building and other promotional activities to be utilized in three years.

In addition, the financial and fiscal incentives available under various programmes of the Ministry will also be applicable on the Solar Cities for installation of renewable energy projects, systems and devices.

8.0     Cities identified for developing as Solar Cities

  In-principle approval is given to those Cities which fulfill the requirement as per criteria, have commitment for undertaking renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures and have submitted their proposals in the prescribed format. So far, based on the proposals received and the cities identified by some of the State Governments, in-principle approval has been given to 48 Cities which are:

 Agra, Moradabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Surat, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Thane, Nanded, Aurangabad, Indore, Gwalior,  Bhopal, Imphal, Kohima, Dimapur, Dehradun, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Chamoli-Gopeshwar, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Coimbatore, Vijaywada, Bilaspur, Raipur, Agartala,  Guwahati, Jorhat, Hubli, Maysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Ajmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bhubaneswar, , Aizawl, Panji City & Environs, Itanagar, Hamirpur, Shimla, Kochi, Howrah, Rewa, Shirdi and SAS Nagar Mohali.  

State-wise details are given in Annexure.  

9.0     Cities Sanctioned

 Sanctions have been given to 31 cities which have received in-principle approvals and they have engaged Consultants for preparation of master plan. These cities are:

Agra, Moradabad, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Kohima, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Thane, Panaji City & Environs, Bilaspur, Raipur, Imphal, Itanagar, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Guwahati, Agartala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Shimla, Hamirpur, Haridawar & Rishikesh, Vijaywada, Aizawl, Mysore, Hubli and Gwalior.

 Funds towards 50% cost of preparation of Master Plans have also been released to each city. Draft Master plans have been prepared for 11 cities.  The setting up of solar city cell in these cities is in progress.

 10.0   What is the master plan of Solar City

 The master plan of the city will include the base line for energy consumption during the year 2008, demand forecasting for the years 2013 and 2018, sector-wise strategies and action plan for implementation of renewable energy projects so as to mitigate the fossil fuel consumption in the city. This will contain details of identified project sites so that, the project proposals could be developed(see guidelines for details).

 11.0   Implementation of Master Plan  

 After preparation of master plan, the Municipal Corporations and the State Nodal Agencies will prepare the implementable proposals on various sectors of renewable energy for implementation under particular schemes of the Ministry.

 12.0  Actions  to be taken by the Municipal Corporations and City Councils/District Administrations for developing a Solar City

  • To create a “Solar City Cell”
  • To constitute a “Solar City Stake Holders Committee”
  • To promote National Rating System for construction of energy efficient Green Buildings in particular to commercial and institutional buildings
  • To amend building bye-laws for making the use of solar water heating systems mandatory in certain category of buildings.
  • To provide rebate in property tax through Municipal Corporations/ Municipalities & in electricity tariff though Utilities/ Electricity Boards to the users of solar water heaters especially in domestic sector.
  • To comply with MSW Rules 2000 notified by the Ministry of Environment.
  • To organize rigorous publicity, and also the training programmes/ business meets for various stake holders e.g. architects, engineers, builders & developers, financial institutions, NGOs, technical institutions, manufactures/suppliers, RWAs etc. so as to involve them actively in meeting the objective of solar city.
  • To generate necessary funds from State Govt. and other funding organizations for achieving the objective of making the city as “Solar City”.


Annexure 1

State-wise list of Solar Cities for which Sanctions/In-Principle approvals have been given
(Sanctions accorded for Master Plans, Solar City Cells and Promotional Activities).

Sr. No State Cities for which in-principle approval given Amount Sanctioned in (Rs. Lakh) Amount Released (Rs. Lakh)
1 Andhra Pradesh
  1. Vijaywada
  2. Mahbubnagar*
46.40- 15.40-
2 Assam
  1. Guwahati
45.45   7.72
  1. Jorhat
49.18  24.18
3 Arunachal Pradesh
  1. Itanagar
47.49 16.49
4 Chandigarh
  1. Chandigarh
49.75 24.75
5 Chhattisgarh
  1. Bilaspur
43.43 12.43
  1. Raipur
43.43 12.43
6 Gujarat
  1.  Rajkot
47.45 12.72
  1. Gandhinagar
50.00 14.00
  1. Surat
43.46   8.46
7 Goa
  1. Panji City
43.30   1.65
8 Haryana
  1. Gurgaon
47.45   3.70
  1. Faridabad
48.75 17.75
9 Himachal Pradesh
  1. Shimla
42.95   11.94
  1. Hamirpur
42.80   11.80
10 Karnataka
  1. Mysore
43.25   5.62
  1. Hubli-Dharwad
43.00   1.50
11 Kerala
  1. Thiruvananthapuram*
- -
  1. Kochi*
- -
12 Maharashtra
  1. Nagpur
48.93     4.46
  1. Thane
49.84   18.84
  1. Kalyan-Dombiwali
49.57   24.57
  1. Aurangabad
50.00     7.86
  1. Nanded
50.00   3.74
  1. Shirdi
43.48   1.74
13 Madhya Pradesh
  1. Indore*
- -
  1. Gwalior
49.55   9.78
  1. Bhopal*
- -
  1. Rewa
50.00 13.55
14 Manipur
  1. Imphal
48.56   4.28
15 Mizoram
  1. Aizawl
48.09 17.09
16 Nagaland
  1. Kohima
46.98 15.97
  1. Dimapur
48.95   4.47
17 Delhi
  1. New Delhi (NDMC area)
50.00    2.25
18 Orissa
  1. Bhubaneswar
47.37   3.68
19 Punjab
  1. Amritsar
45.00 11.50
  1. Ludhiana
45.00 11.50
  1. SAS Nagar (Mohali)
50.00 2.24
20 Rajasthan
  1. Ajmer
50.00 1.35
  1. Jaipur*
- -
  1. Jodhpur
43.50   1.75
21 Tamil Nadu
  1. Coimbatore
49.00   9.00
22 Tripura
  1. Agartala
45.49 11.75
23 Uttarakhand
  1. Dehradun
47.40 12.70
  1. Haridwar & Rishikesh
45.00   2.50
  1. Chamoli –Gopeshwar
44.95 11.47
24 Uttar Pradesh
  1. Agra
48.89   23.89
  1. Moradabad
  2. Allahabad*
50.00--   25.00--
25 West Bengal
  1. Howrah
  2. Madhyamgram
  3. New Town Kolkata
50.0050.0050.00    4.31   4.15 11.26
26 Jammu & Kashmir
  1. Leh*
- -
27 Puducherry
  1. Puducherry*
- -
  Total   2173.10 479.23

 *Only In-principal approval given.

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