The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called upon large institutions and public sector organisations to strive towards sustainability in their operations by using renewable energy. He suggested greater adoption of rooftop solar plants in industries and big establishments like universities and government buildings and godowns.
In this regard, Shri Naidu appealed to all states and local bodies to consider adopting the model building by-laws for new buildings. He also advocated the need to make solar rooftop plants, solar water heaters and rainwater harvesting mandatory for large buildings and government organisations, along with ensuring sufficient light and ventilation.
Dedicating the 1.5 Megawatt rooftop solar power plant at JIPMER, Puducherry to the nation, Shri Naidu said that India is fast-moving towards becoming the global leader for ‘energy transition’. He hailed the recent landmark of 100 Gigawatt of installed renewable energy capacity in India.
Highlighting the significance of rooftop solar plants in continuing the momentum of India’s ‘energy transition’, Shri Naidu observed that rooftop plants use empty areas on buildings, generate power close to the point of consumption and reduce transmission losses. The Vice President called for State, Central and UT governments to work together as Team India to popularise the tapping of solar energy and bring about greater awareness among people on the benefits of installing solar panels on their rooftops. He called for massive campaigns to publicize the subsidy programmes for solar rooftop systems and the resultant electricity savings.
Referring to the lessons from the pandemic, Shri Naidu stressed the importance of ventilation and air circulation in buildings. “Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. Our ancestors understood this – it reflected in their planning and construction of houses”, the Vice President noted. He underscored the need to create living and working spaces with ample ventilation and natural light in order to maintain good health.
Shri Naidu also commended medical institutions like JIPMER for showing extraordinary resolve during the pandemic and rising to the occasion. He said that due to the collective efforts of such institutions, doctors, medical staff, and healthcare workers, the country has been fighting the pandemic effectively.
Lt. Governor of Puducherry, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister, Shri N. Rangasamy, Speaker, Puducherry Assembly, Shri Embalam R. Selvam, Lok Sabha MP Shri V. Vaithilingam, MLA from Puducherry, Shri V. Aroumougame, Director, JIPMER, Puducherry, Dr. Rakesh Aggarwal and others were present during the event.
Following is the full text of the speech:
I am indeed very happy to be here with you all today. At the outset, I wish to convey my greetings and best wishes to the people of Puducherry.
Puducherry is a charming city with rare appeal. It is a unique confluence of cultures—of Indian heritage and French architecture, that always makes it a treat to visit. A thriving hub of education, tourism and spirituality, Puducherry is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with picturesque beaches, historic temples and churches and the world famous Aurobindo Ashram. But more than anything, it is the warmth and hospitality of the people of Puducherry that gives this Union Territory its special character.
It gives me immense pleasure to dedicate the 1.5 Megawatt rooftop solar power plant at JIPMER, Puducherry to the nation. I congratulate the entire JIPMER family and all those associated with this project.
The solar plant at JIPMER will harness a resource that we in India are abundantly blessed with – sunlight. I am told that this plant is one of the largest hospital-based rooftop solar plants in India. By using all the space available on the roofs of 15 buildings in this green campus, the plant will generate 1.5 Megawatts of power, and meet about 15% of the hospital’s energy demand.
Seen against the bigger picture, this project is in line with our efforts to meet the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) commitments to the Paris Climate Conference by 2030.
With the recent landmark of 100 Gigawatt of installed renewable energy capacity, India is fast moving towards becoming a global leader in energy transition.
To continue the momentum of this ‘energy transition’, rooftop solar installation is a small but sustainable contributor. Land-mounted solar projects come at a cost—they involve land procurement and often involve environmental concerns.
Rooftop solar plants, on the other hand, use empty areas on buildings, generate power close to the point of consumption and reduce transmission losses.
We must push for more adoption of rooftop solar plants in industries and big establishments like universities and government buildings and godowns.
State, Central and UT governments must work together as Team India in this sector as well. They must popularise and bring about greater awareness among people on the benefits of installing solar panels on their rooftops. Massive campaigns must be undertaken to widely publicize the subsidy and incentive programmes of the government so that more and more people set up solar plants on their rooftops. People must understand that the initial costs of setting up a solar plant after subsidy is offset by the benefits in the long term. Moreover, there are bound to be significant savings on recurring electricity expenditure.
In the spirit of this project, I call upon other large organisations and institutions, including the Public Sector Units to strive towards sustainability in their operations. It will not only benefit the organisation at a micro level by saving costs, but will also benefit the nation as a whole as we stride towards sustainable development.
I believe that the time has come for all states and local bodies to consider adopting the model building by-laws for new buildings. Solar rooftop plants, solar water heaters and rainwater harvesting must be made mandatory for certain categories of buildings exceeding specified size and/or power consumption thresholds.
We have been fighting an unprecedented pandemic in the last two years. Despite its wide-ranging impact on society, COVID has also taught us many lessons for our health systems and infrastructure.
I wish to highlight one aspect COVID has brought forth- that of ventilation in our buildings. Air circulation and adequate sunlight are gifts of nature that are also critical in maintaining our health. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant. Our ancestors understood this – it reflected in their planning and construction of houses. We must learn from these practices and create living and working spaces with ample ventilation and natural light. Let us take this key lesson from the pandemic.
The pandemic has brought out extraordinary resolve from our institutions and proved their mettle in a difficult time. In particular, medical institutions like JIPMER have remarkably risen to the occasion and taken the challenge head-on. I am told that during this period, JIPMER has been a major facility in the service of most of the severe covid cases not only in Puducherry but the adjoining districts of Tamil Nadu.