In order to provide clean cooking and lighting benefits to rural and tribal population living in forest fringes and protected areas, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has taken up the programme for intensive distribution of Renewable Energy Devices.
Under the programme devices like Unnat Chulhas, Solar Cookers, Solar Lamps, Solar home lighting Systems etc will be distributed by using the funds of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). Now this programme has been included in the definition of forest protection and conservation measures and management of notified forest/protected areas.
CAMPA has already issued circular providing guidelines for utilization of funds to the State Governments/Union Territories regarding the programme. A cumulative of not less than 70 percent of funds utilized/earmarked under the Net Present Value (NPV) component are to be used for the core activities, which could be earmarked for distribution of renewable devices in areas covering national parks, Sanctuaries and reserve forests. In this regard the states and union territories have been requested to indicate their targets for Distribution of Unnat Chulhas, Solar Cookers, Solar Lamps, and Solar Home Lighting Systems in forest fringes and protected areas for the next five years to MNRE.
The government plans to save $2 billion in four years by cutting down on energy usage by 10,000 MW during peak hours by promoting LED lights and other less energy consuming devices. Apart from lowering LED lights prices, the government is taking steps to boost rooftop solar power production.
"We are hoping to scale the demand for rooftop solar and in the next seven years – we have plans to roll out 40,000 MW for rooftop solar, which is massive. Concurrently, we will start procurement through reverse bidding which should help bring down the prices. To what extent the prices will come down, I cannot say at this point," Power Minister Piyush Goal reportedly said.
The central government is also working closely with the states to both reduce distribution losses and encourage energy conversation and efficiency which will make India energy secure and environmentally safe.