Solar energy and wind power to light up remote Kashmir areas

Solar energy and wind energy to light up remote Kashmir areas. Some remote and inaccessible border areas in Jammu and Kashmir will soon get electrified through solar energu and wind energy. This is being done under the Remote Village Electrification Programme (RVEP) to be commissioned by the Science and Technology department of the state.

"The project will provide electricity to remote inaccessible areas, border areas and some remote hospitals as these are not connected with National Power Grid," Minister for Science Technology Aga Syed Ruhullah said. He said that each project will cost Rs.20 lakh and will generate 8.8 kilowatts of power (6.6kw from wind energy and 2.2 kw from solar photovoltaics) "to slowly replace the conventional power supply and bring down the cost of providing electricity through diesel generator sets being used in some remote areas." An estimated 350 units would be installed.

A majority of these projects would be in areas that remain cut off for a few months during winters due to snowfall. According to official statistics, 809 villages in the Jammu region close to the international border and 349 in the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh are without electricity. "We are going to cover 285 villages and 28 hamlets under RVEP," the minister said.

In September 2009, about 30 villages comprising 3900 households in the remote Gurez area of North Kashmir close to the Line of Control (LOC) got solar electrification benefitting 30,000 people living there.