Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), in association with the city-based civil action group Gurgaon First, organized a meeting for Gurgaon residents yesterday to mark the World Environment Day, and chart the course for Gurugram’s solar-powered future. Representatives of Resident’s Welfare Associations, municipal administration and civil society groups attended this programme.
“Gurugram has a vision – that of being a ‘solar pioneer’, and a modern, truly ‘smart’ city. But it will never be able to realize this vision unless it ensures that its residential sector – its homes – adopt solar power. Solar rooftop (SRT) could be an excellent non-polluting, cost-effective alternative to replace the smoke-spewing diesel generators currently in use in most residential societies in Gurugram” – said CSE researchers in an assessment of solar potential and SRT in the NCR city.
Gurugram is a city with numerous residential societies and high-rises that promise 24/7 steady power supply – all with diesel generator (DG) support. Their impact on air quality has been severe – these DG sets are choking the city with their noxious fumes. CSE’s assessment of the situation shows levels of PM2.5 and PM10 increase by two and three times, respectively, immediately after a DG set is operated. These levels are several notches higher than the safe limits for residents. Gurugram, till March 2019, and as per estimates from HAREDA, had only 40 MW worth of installed capacity, which is a mere 2% of the city’s peak load.
Speaking at the meeting, Shubhra Puri, founder, Gurgaon First, said: “What better way is there to mark the World Environment Day than this? Gurugram could easily be a solar city with progressive mindset of residents, presence of large buildings and a progressivestate solar policy. Let us work towards making it a 100 MW solar rooftop city by 2022
On the positive side, Gurugram does offer a few examples of successful and encouraging installations of SRT. Wellington Estate RWA in DLF-5 has installed a 350kWp SRT plant, the largest in India. According to the RWA president Vineet Bagga, the plant has helped the complex reduce its annual power bill by Rs 33 lacs.