A big take away of the budget presented by Shri Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on 4th March is about the commitment made, that the State Government will make efforts to ensure that 100 per cent of its energy requirement is met through Renewable and Green energy. If it is achieved, the State will become the first Green State in the Country.
Himachal consumes about 12000 Million Units of Power every year. Only 2000 Million Units of which is thermal power and rest is Green/ Renewable power. The State has to use thermal power because of two reasons. First because the State has entered into Power Purchase Agreements long back with Thermal Power Stations. The obligations under these Thermal Power Stations will gradually reduce but will ultimately end only by 2034. The obligations include paying for both fixed costs and actual consumption charges.
The second reason is that the State uses some thermal power as Round the Clock power as it is cheaper than the Renewable Power.
Himachal Pradesh in order to become a Green State has to come out of these obligations and requirement. This is achievable and this is what that has been aspired in the budget.
The key two nectar elements of Panchamrit presented by the Prime Minister at Glasgow in the 26th Climate Change Summit were India’s commitment to take its non-fossil fuel capacity to 50 Gigawatt and meet 50 percent of its energy requirement from renewable energy by 2020.
What Himachal is trying to do is something huge and big. It is trying to write a story of transition to be a complete Green State. To achieve this, its thermal obligations need to be underwritten or they need to be bought out. The way to do this will be through a Grand-Bargain may be with the G-7 countries as this will be the Just and Fair Cost and will be a part of climate finance.
Shri Jai Ram Thakur, the Chief Minister has already raised it with Prime Minister and other Senior Minister in Government of India. The Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh had a discussion with the Country Director and Vice President of World Bank and the Vice Chairman and Members of NITI Aayog.
It’s a big idea. A bold step not only in fighting climate change but also towards making everything manufactured in Himachal Pradesh certified as Sustainable and Green the value it will add to the products manufactured in Himachal Pradesh will be immense.