Govt working on special policy for roof-top solar units

M. Ramesh Mumbai | Updated on November 13, 2017 Published on December 13, 2011

Solar thermal collectors are seen against a backdrop of public housing flats on the roof of a building at the United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA) East Campus in Singapore December 7, 2011. The installation by Austrian firm SOLID GmbH is the world's largest solar thermal cooling plant, with the total installed capacity for cooling and heating of approximately 2,730 kWth, according to the company. REUTERS/Tim Chong (SINGAPORE - Tags: ENERGY BUSINESS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION)   -  REUTERS

Discoms to meet in Delhi on Dec 20 to aid policy formulation

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is working on a special policy for roof-top solar units, Mr Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MNRE, said today.

Speaking at Intersolar India, a conference of the solar industry here, and also at a press conference later, Mr Kapoor said that the government is “working on several options”. To aid policy formulation, a “brainstorming meeting” of all the electricity distribution companies (discoms) will take place in New Delhi on the 20th of this month.

The discussion would revolve around why, even with a 30 per cent capital subsidy, the ‘roof-top solar' has not taken off in India.

“We will come up with something very special for roof-tops,” Mr Kapoor said. Today, the economics works out very well. With 30 per cent subsidy (on the cost of equipment), the cost of generation would work out to Rs 7, he said.

Net metering

He observed that ‘Net metering', where a household could both receive power from and feed into the grid and be billed only for the Net consumption, is very important for the development of roof-top solar units.

Today, legally the discoms can do it, Mr Kapoor said, observing that they are perhaps not sensitised to the issue.

He said that the industry is also not attuned to roof-top solar. “I have been telling them ‘please look at roof-tops',” he said, adding that the industry itself is not much aware of the potential.

Solar resource assessment

Mr Kapoor said that the Government was confident that the country would have the targeted 1,100 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2013. Stressing on the need for gathering of data of solar irradiance, Mr Kapoor said that the Government has installed “51 solar stations” across the country till now. A massive programme is under way to do solar resource assessment all across India.

Answering a question, he said that one of the key learnings from the phase-I of the National Solar Mission was that it was advisable to have ‘solar parks' where several developers could put up their projects.

Solar parks makes the job of putting in place the transmission infrastructure easy, he noted. Another learning was the importance of scale.


Published on December 13, 2011
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