Union Minister of State for Power and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal said here on Friday that the Centre had embarked on a major initiative to promote renewable energy and reduce its dependence on conventional energy sources.
Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Goyal said the government wanted to ensure that only LED bulbs were used in the country by 2022, and this would help save consumers Rs. 40,000 crore by way of electricity bill, besides savings in 11,000 crore units of power. He said solar power generation had increased from 2,500 MW in 2014 to more than 30,000 MW in 2017 and the target was to achieve 1.75 lakh MW by 2022.
The Minister said under the UJALA scheme, the Centre had distributed 25 crore LED bulbs. The cost of procurement too had come down from Rs. 310 per bulb during the UPA regime to Rs. 40 per bulb owing to increase in volumes.
In Karnataka, the Centre had distributed over 1.66 crore LED bulbs, besides 1.41 lakh LED tube lights, said the Minister who took a dig at the Congress in Karnataka and alleged that the State government chose projects supported by the Centre and rebranded them as a State initiative. They tried to do the same with the UJALA project also despite the fact that the benefits came from the Centre and had promoted it under Hosa Belaku scheme with one of their leaders posing as the brand ambassador, Mr. Goyal said.
On the Centre’s drive to promote renewable energy in Karnataka, Mr. Goyal said a solar parks of 2,000 MW capacity had been sanctioned while the renewable energy generation capacity had increased from 3,985 MW in March 2014 to 7,633 MW in June 2017 in Karnataka. Mr. Goyal, who was here to participate in a party outreach programme, said under the UPA rule, Karnataka had received Rs. 61,691 crore, but under the 14th Finance Commission, the Modi government gave Rs. 1,86,975 crore. Likewise, the funding for railway projects had increased; as against Rs. 3,174 crore allocated last year, it had gone up to Rs. 2,779 crore during the current year, he added.
Mysuru MP Pratap Simha was among those present.
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