Minister of Tourism Rigzin Jora has announced the intention to exploit solar energy in Zanskar. A survey has apparently been conducted by 'Science and Technology Department', a nodal agency working for Union Ministry for Renewable Energy.
Zanskar certainly gets its fair share of sunshine and the majority of households already enjoy the excellent Tata/BP solar rechargeable fluorescent lanterns. I wonder however how large PV arrays would fare in Zanskar's notoriously harsh climate. The Valley already sports a wide selection of idle technology waiting for spare parts. I recall visiting one winter, admittedly some years ago now, and finding that the diesel generator that (still) provides electricity for Padum and neighbouring towns had been out of action for 15 months for want of a spare part. Not an unusual scenario.
On the bright side (no pun intended), solar may however offer a valuable year-round supply of power, unlike the existing, somewhat temperamental mini-hydro plants that are restricted to Zanskar's brief summer. Indeed, for a region where frost renders hydro generators useless for 6 months of every year the preference for hydro-electricity is a curious one. One only has to look at the repeated re-commissioning of the Sani mini-hydel project...
Wind? now that might be a better choice. As long as we are not talking cutting-edge turbines the technology is potentially more robust than solar, easier to maintain and reparable with local know-how and non-specialist parts. I know where I would put my money.