Sanchi Solar City: Pioneering Sustainable Initiatives for a Cleaner, Greener, and Sustainable Tomorrow
Sanchi, a city known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for having Buddhist stupas that have been receiving sunlight for over 2,000 years, is now going to be India’s First Solar City. The small city of 9,000 people, with an energy requirement of around 3 million units every year, sits on the Tropic of Cancer, making it an ideal location to soak in the sun’s energy and become one of the first solar cities in the country.
Global warming and the challenges it poses to the world’s environment and habitat are now the most crucial concerns engaging the international community. Countries have undertaken obligations to reduce their carbon footprints in accordance with their nationally determined contributions. India has pledged that by 2030, 40% of its total installed power generation capacity will come from renewable sources.
Further, in an era where environmental sustainability is at the forefront of global concerns, cities around the world are embracing innovative strategies to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future. One such remarkable example is Sanchi Solar City, a trailblazing urban center that is not only harnessing the power of solar energy but also adopting a range of progressive initiatives to promote sustainability in every facet of its existence.
Persuading this, in 2020, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi Ji, has made a case for each state to have at least one Solar City. In this regard, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has issued a Concept Note on One Solar City in Each State or UT.
Under this Initiative, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has taken the Initiative to solarize the Sanchi, which is at the heart of the State and internationally one of the most renowned places in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (MPUVNL), as a nodal agency of the state for undertaking such initiatives in the state, has created a state-of-the-art framework to not only make the city solar but also take multiple initiatives towards a clean, Green, and energy-efficient city.
The Initiative of Solar City captures the essence of Future City, which has considered the following:
- Harnessing Solar Energy: Groundbreaking the Solar Revolution at City level
Sanchi SolarCity has made a bold statement by committing to harnessing solar energy. The city exemplifies how renewable resources can be integrated into urban infrastructure. Solar Power Projects on the available spaces in the city, grace rooftops, streets, and public spaces, converting sunlight into electricity. This abundant energy source not only powers the city’s own needs but also feeds surplus energy back into the grid, contributing to the larger cause of a greener nation.
- Replacing conventional sources of electricity with non-conventional sources:
- 100% of electricity consumption comes from renewable energy through a ground-mounted solar project of 3 MW.
- Ground-mounted solar project of 5 MW for solarization of rural feeders for the supply of green power for Farming purposes.
- Reducing the dependence on grid power
- Public establishments should establish rooftop solar systems on their premises
- Individual rooftop owners should establish rooftop solar systems as per the availability of space and finances
- Solar-powered equipment:
- Streetlights and high masts for public convenience
- Solar powered signs and Studs on the route to STUPAS
- Water Kiosks
- Promoting Electric Mobility:
MPUVNL recognized the need to address vehicular emissions, and the city has embraced electric mobility as a cornerstone of its sustainability efforts. To encourage residents and visitors to switch to cleaner transportation alternatives, such as electric autorickshaws or Golf Carts. To promote the adoption of e-vehicles across the city, Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are strategically placed throughout the city. This move not only reduces air pollution but also contributes to a quieter and healthier urban environment. Further, to raise awareness among citizens regarding e-vehicles, battery-operated e-vehicles for garbage collection have been proposed.
- Community Engagement and Education:
MPUVNL understands that lasting change requires a collective effort. To meet the aspirational target, MPUVNL organizes regular workshops, awareness campaigns, and educational programs to engage residents, schools, and businesses in the journey towards sustainability.
MPUVNL ensures that each individual or each public establishment in the city should become part of the Initiative and contribute in the best possible manner. The State Government and MPUVNL, under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, are committed to the ideals of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas”, to build an Atma Nirbhar City for electricity-related matters. Be it an Indian Railway, be it a School, be it a government office/building, be it a hospital, or be it an individual, everyone has contributed towards sustainability.
To make it successful as a public-run campaign, MPUVNL has started the campaign for Urja Saksharta for each individual in the City and covered 95% of the eligible population to promote the saving of electricity on the demand side.
Further, MPUVNL has completed the energy audit of the government establishment to encourage people to save electricity on a daily basis by instilling the habit of saving electricity and installing energy-efficient equipment.
With all these initiatives, Sanchi City alone would be able to reduce its carbon emissions by 13,747 metric tons, which is equivalent to the planting of 2.3 lakh adult trees, effectively reducing the city’s dependence on conventional fossil fuels for a wide range of activities, including garbage collection. Also, directly or indirectly, the adoption of these initiatives would save more than Rs. 7 crore annually.
By adopting a wide range of initiatives, Sanchi, as a city, is not only lowering its carbon emissions but also creating a blueprint and inspiring cities across India to follow suit by setting an example.
At last, with all these initiatives, this city has covered all aspects of an aspiring Net-Zero city, which is not far from reality and shows a path for all for a Clean, Green, Efficient, and Sustainable World.
Under the Leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, this is New India, this is New Madhya Pradesh; which is committed to a Green, Clean, energy-efficient, and Sustainable World.