In a significant development, Diu became the first Union Territory in India to attain surplus energy, on the back of its ability to successfully harness solar energy, reports the Times of India. This island of just 42 square kilometres on the Arabian Sea has installed solar power plants on over 50 acres of land. Evidently, the scarcity of land has not become an obstacle in its ability to facilitate the tremendous growth of solar power generation over the past three years.
Per day, Diu generates approximately 13 megawatts (MW) of electricity from solar energy sources—3MW from rooftop solar plants and 10MW from solar power plants. It was only three years ago that the island drew electricity from a power grid run by the Gujarat government, resulting in a serious loss of electricity during transmission. Once their local power company began to harness solar energy, these losses came down significantly, reports the Times of India.
“The population of Diu is only 56,000. For water and electricity, the Union territory was solely dependent on the Gujarat government. To overcome this limitation, the administration of the Union territory decided to set up solar power plants in Diu,” said Milind Ingle, an executive engineer with the electricity department in Daman and Diu, to the national publication.
Ingle goes on the describe the power consumption of Diu to illustrate the effect of harnessing solar energy. “Diu’s peak-time demand for electricity goes up to 7 MW, and we generate about 10.5 MW of electricity from solar energy daily. This is way more than the consumption demand requirement,” he added.
With surplus energy, local consumers are also heaving a sigh of relief, as their monthly electricity charges have come down by 12%. Earlier, when locals were charged Rs 1.50 per unit for consuming anywhere between 0-50 units of electricity, and Rs 1.50 per unit in the 50-100 units slab.
However, once solar energy came into the picture in a significant way, the 0.50 units slab was taken down altogether, and now the consumption of anywhere 1–100 units of electricity will elicit a charge of Rs 1.01 per unit.
Going by these reports, Diu has become a model for other UTs and States to follow when it comes to power generation.