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Centre working on project to tap solar energy for cellphone towers

Staff Reporter



Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah (right), and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh (second from right) unveiling the model of the Madanjeet Singh School of Green Energy Technologies at the Pondicherry University on Tuesday. Vice-Chancellor of the university J.A.K. Tareen is in the picture.

PUDUCHERRY: The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy along with the Union Ministry of Telecommunications is working on converting almost all cellphone towers into “green towers” by using solar panels instead of diesel generators.

“At the bottom of cell phone towers, there are generators running on diesel. We want to shift to solar energy. This will reduce the use of diesel,” Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said on Tuesday.

He was in Puducherry to inaugurate the international conference on “Green Energy Technologies: Challenges in Research and Human Resource Development,” organised by Pondicherry University and South Asia Foundation (SAF).

Dr. Abdullah along with UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and founder of SAF Madanjeet Singh unveiled the building model and plaque for the Madanjeet Singh School of Green Energy Technologies at the university.

The mechanism of using solar panels was being worked out, he said, adding that subsidies for the proposed initiative would be worked out under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

As a step towards ensuring greener buildings, Dr. Abdullah said, “The Government of India (GoI) has taken a decision that no GoI building will be made which will not be green. My Ministry is going to meet architects in some of the top cities to talk to them of greener buildings.”

The Minister drew attention to the need to quickly generate energy from the sun. “We are going to generate within the first three years 1,300 MW of solar energy with 1,100 grid connected and 200 non-grid connected. By 2022, we should have 20,000 MW of solar power,” he said. He assured Mr. Singh that all help needed to develop the school would be provided.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Singh said he believed in solar energy. “I hope the government will support in full to build the school into a world-class institution,” he said. Pondicherry University Vice Chancellor J.A.K. Tareen said the cost of the project submitted to the Ministry was Rs. 75 crore.

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