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World Bank Signs $200 Mn Project To Support Himachal Pradesh’s Power Sector Reforms

Updated: Nov 08, 2023 04:01:31pm

World Bank Signs $200 Mn Project To Support Himachal Pradesh’s Power Sector Reforms

New Delhi, Nov 8 (KNN) The Government of India, the Government of Himachal Pradesh, and the World Bank have inked a USD 200 million project aimed helping Himachal Pradesh achieve its green state vision.

According to a press release by the World Bank, the project will focus on increasing the share of renewable energy (RE) in the state’s electricity generation, aligning with Himachal Pradesh’s goal to add 10,000 megawatts of additional RE capacity.

Himachal Pradesh is on a mission to become a ‘Green State’ by meeting all its energy needs through renewable and green energy sources by 2030.

Currently, more than 80 per cent of the state’s energy demands are met through hydropower.

The Himachal Pradesh Power Sector Development Program, backed by the World Bank, will aid the state in optimizing its existing RE resources, particularly hydropower, while diversifying its RE sources.

This includes the addition of 150 megawatts of solar capacity, expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 190,000 metric tons annually.

The agreement was officially sealed by key representatives- K Manicka Raj, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; Harikesh Meena, Director (Energy), representing the Government of Himachal Pradesh; and Auguste Tano Kouame, Country Director, India, acting on behalf of the World Bank.

Auguste Tano Kouame, the World Bank’s Country Director for India, highlighted the Program’s benefits and said, “The Program will boost local economic activity while replacing fossil-fuel based energy consumption with green energy. Moreover, the Program will support Himachal Pradesh to set up a single energy trading desk, thus enabling the sale of surplus hydropower to other states.”

This initiative will serve as a model for future investments in renewable energy within the Indian power market.

Given Himachal’s challenging terrain and the need for reliable power supply, the Program will strengthen the transmission and distribution grid and introduce advanced technologies, such as a demand response management system.

These measures are critical during peak load periods, reducing the state’s reliance on expensive fossil-fuel-based power and enhancing service quality.

The Program aims to improve environmental, social, financial management, corporate governance, and procurement capacities in Himachal Pradesh’s power sector.

It will also create job opportunities in specialized technical and managerial fields, with a particular focus on women.

About 700 female apprentices will receive hands-on training in technical roles within the power sector, contributing to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship’s National Apprentice Promotion Scheme.

Surbhi Goyal and Pyush Dogra, team leaders for the Program, emphasized its significance and said, “The Program will promote good and sustainable practices within the power utilities in the state to transition them to run a green and low carbon electricity system. This shall contribute towards the state’s goal to be one of the first ‘Green State’ in the country.”

The USD 200 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.

The program promises a greener and more sustainable energy future for Himachal Pradesh and contributes to India’s broader renewable energy goals.

(KNN Bureau)


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