Kerala’s budget for the financial year 2019-2020 puts thrust on setting up rooftop solar projects in the state while also encouraging for the development of the Electric Vehicle sector in the state.
In his speech, Kerala’s Minister of Finance, Thomas Isaac cites that in Kerala households have already registered for 200 MW of rooftop solar PV capacity. According to Isaac’s budget speech, “The entire power requirement of ‘New Kerala’ will be ensured. Around 130-150 crore unit electricity will be made available from 500 MW rooftop solar PV projects and 500 MW floating solar PV projects and terrestrial (utility-scale) solar projects.”
Funds will be provided from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) to install solar panels on the rooftop of government institutions like schools and hospitals. The government understands that in the future, Kerala’s energy dependency on other states is going to increase. Keeping this is mind, the government plans to provide ₹63,750 million ($895.99 million) through the fund board to set up the required transmission system.
The budget also focuses on reducing the loss of power by encouraging the use of LED bulbs. The budget promises that funding will be ensured to the state’s electricity board for the bulk purchase of LED bulbs.
In accordance with the State Electric Vehicle Policy, steps will be taken to increase the number of electric vehicles to 1,000,000 by 2022. To promote widespread adoption, private EVs will be given rebate on the road tax. The government has also fixed a grant amount of Rs. 120 million ($1.69 million) for starting an e-mobility encouragement fund. This year, 10,000 electric autos will be given subsidy from this.
The expenses of owners can be reduced if the centers for replacing charged electric batteries are set up in cities. Keeping this in mind, the government has provided for setting up of charging stations with the assistance of private investors based on the specifications of vehicles. Gradually, only electric autos will be newly permitted in major towns.
As per Isaac, “To create a model, KSRTC will switch over to electric buses. The electric buses tried at Pampa – Nilakkal have proved that this change will bring only profit to KSRTC. ln the first phase, all the services in Thiruvananthapuram Corporation will be changed to electric buses. With this, Thiruvananthapuram will be the first city in India having all buses e-vehicle.”
Factories for the manufacturing of electric vehicles and research facilities will also be created in the state, according to the tabled budget. Kerala has displayed its dedication towards clean energy in its budget and other states would be expected to do the same.
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