Use of green-technology will become mandatory in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)—the tax and duty free industrial enclaves—with the commerce ministry drawing up guidelines for use of equipment using renewable energy sources like solar power in the zones. Senior officials of the commerce ministry, ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) and industry representatives from north met in Delhi on Monday to deliberate on the proposed guidelines. Similar meetings are also expected in other cities, before the guidelines are finalised.
MNRE officials told the participants that they are planning to launch a scheme that subsidies cost of green technology in the SEZs. These include energy systems like solar street lights, solar blinkers, solar power inverters, solar illuminating hoardings and bill boards, aerogenerators upto 30 kw capacity, wind solar hybrids of above 1 kw as well as solar thermal systems for air heating and steam generating applications.

The scheme is proposed to be implemented through Development Commissioners of respective SEZs.

The draft Green SEZ guidelines propose that each SEZ should install solar power systems, which generate a minimum of 50KW per hectare. In addition, developers will have to create facilities for water harvesting, waste management, plantation, and provide eco-friendly local transportation within SEZs.

“Green SEZs will help in optimisation of use of energy, conservation of power, efficient use of water, proper management of waste and development of green environment. It would help in pollution free environment and will improve the quality of life of all the people working and staying in SEZs,” said L B Singhal director general of Export Promotion Council for EoU and SEZ.

The proposed guidelines comes after the ministry of commerce and industry issues guidelines for setting up power units inside SEZs in February.

Currently, there are about 580 formally approved SEZs in the country, of which 98 are operational.

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