Goa’s energy catastrophe: The state is reluctant to look at alternative energy options, despite the need for it | Goa News

GOA: Weeks to go before the monsoon, but Goa is already reeling from chronic power failure. Across the state, electricity comes and goes, often remaining absent for hours. Earlier this month, citizens were left powerless for an entire day, an exceedingly grim portent of what can be expected once the rain begins in earnest. While the administration says it is not responsible—the day-long outage was due to collapse of the Western Grid—it is equally true the state visibly suffers from decades of mismanagement, and the conspicuous absence of leadership and vision in this sector. So Goa’s energy scenario remains disgracefully backward and inadequate, even as the rest of India (and the world) is racing ahead into a bold new world of cheap and efficient renewables.

Look just south to Kerala’s outstanding push to self-reliance via solar power. Backed by the comprehensive Kerala Solar Energy Policy 2013, the southern state is innovating renewable energy in unprecedented ways. In 2013 itself, the Kochi International Airport installed 400 solar panels on its roof. With this experiment’s success, the facility added 46,000 more in an adjacent field. In 2015, it became the world’s first airport to run fully on solar power. This is an amazing feat for one of the busiest airfields in India, which handles more than 1,000 flights per week (around double the traffic at Goa’s Dabolim airport).

Kerala is just one bright spot in what the Vienna Energy Forum calls “the largest energy transformation project in the world” underway in India. Across Goa’s border in Karnataka, state authorities are busily building the world’s largest solar power installation at Pavagada (around 200km from Bangalore). By the end of this monsoon, this single joint venture between K??arnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd and Solar Energy Corp of India will begin generating 500MW of electricity, which is roughly enough to power the entire state of Goa. At the end of next year, the park expects…

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