No more big hydroelectric projects in State: Isaac

Power dept. plan to achieve 1,000 MW installed capacity in solar power by 2021

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has ruled out the possibility of the State taking up any more big hydroelectric projects.

“Even if anyone wants them, it is not going to happen,” the Minister said here on Wednesday, pointing to the environmental cost of such projects.

He was speaking after inaugurating Soura Thejas, the first of three workshops planned by the Agency for Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (Anert) on the role of renewable energy in rebuilding Kerala.

Renewable energy sources such as sun and wind should be tapped to the fullest.

Efficient energy

At the same time, efficient energy use was also important in Kerala where several months of rain impeded total dependence on solar energy, he said.

In such a scenario, ‘energy awareness’ was the need of the hour, with consumption soaring and little scope for continued dependence on traditional energy sources, Dr. Isaac said.

Shifting from filament and Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) to LEDs could reduce energy consumption considerably, Dr. Isaac said. “By replacing a 14-Watt CFL with a 9-Watt LED, we save 5 Watts. LEDs are also cheaper. CFLs cost ₹120 while LEDs come at ₹65 apiece,” he said.

Electricity Minister M.M. Mani urged civil society to adopt an ‘uncompromising stand’ on tapping solar energy. Exploiting solar and wind energy and available small hydel potential was the way forward for the State.

Rooftop solar units

The Power Department intended to achieve the target of 1,000 MW installed capacity in solar power by 2021 through 500 MW of rooftop solar units and 500 MW through reservoir-based floating solar panels, Mr. Mani said.

The next Soura Thejas workshop will be held at Thiruvambady Convention Centre, Thrissur, on November 30, and the final one, at Tagore Centenary Hall, Kozhikode, on December 2.

Anert director Amit Meena; educationalist R.V.G. Menon; Industries and Infrastructure division, Planning Board, chief Joy N. R. and Energy Management Centre director Dhareshan Unnithan were present.

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