Punjab Solar Summit: Lease out your land for renewable energy’s sake: Sukhbir to farmers
Call it an alternative model of diversification or a solution to Punjab’s agricultural crisis, the state’s deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, on Thursday appealed to the peasantry to lease out their lands to the solar-energy-sector investors.
“The farmers who have leased out land (for solar power generation) are happier than those tilling it,” Sukhbir stated at the first-ever Punjab Solar Summit, organised here to bring the land owners and investors on a common platform for the state’s ambitious drive to harness 2,000 megawatt (MW) of solar energy within two years. Wooing the investors, he even said the state government was even “open to subsidising solar-energy pumps” by diverting the money being given to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for free power to the agriculture sector.
The exemption to investors from the ‘change of land use’ (CLU) charges would also continue under the state’s policy of promoting non-renewable energy sources. Declaring Punjab a power surplus state now, the deputy CM said it was now in a position to sell electricity. The government honoured 47 solar-energy-sector investors at the summit anchored by state renewable energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia.