PAVAGADA: There is a change in fortunes — for the better — for the people of , Tumakuru district, about 180km from India’s IT-BT-start-up capital of Bengaluru. Declared droughthit 54 times in the last 60 years, Pavagada’s turnaround has been scripted, ironically, by tapping the only thing that is abundant other than poverty in the region: Sunshine.
Home to the world’s largest solar park, Pavagada has catapulted to the top of the list of states in generation, according to the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). However, only 600MW of the 2,000MW capacity plant is operational now and the state government plans to tap the plant’s full potential by September 2019.
The IEEFA also reveals Karnataka, which has hundreds of wind turbine, hydro and biomass-to-energy plants, generates about 12,500MW of renewable energy. That number surpasses some of Europe’s green energy champions like Denmark (7,800MW) and Netherlands (7,700MW). Currently, Ananthapuram Ultra Mega Solar Park in Andhra, who hopes to generate 1500MW, is the next largest solar park. The Andhra Pradesh plant produces about 500MW now.
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