Policy

KCCI welcomes move to allow net metering up to 500 kW for rooftop solar units

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on April 12, 2021

Move to help India reach target of 40% energy generation through renewable sources by 2030; will also help maintain Karnataka’s pre-eminent position of solar power generation in the country

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has welcomed the recent move of the Union Power Ministry to allow net-metering for loads up to 500 kW in the case of grid-interactive rooftop solar PV systems.

Isaac Vas, President of KCCI, told BusinessLine that the ‘Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules 2020’ had allowed net-metering for loads up to 5 kilowatts (kW) and gross-metering for loads above 5 kW in the case of grid-interactive rooftop solar PV systems.

Also read: NLC India adds over 500 MW of generation capacity in FY21

However, in a letter dated April 9, 2021, on the subject ‘Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) (Amendment) Rules 2021’ to the stakeholders concerned, the Union Power Ministry has reversed the restrictions on roof-top solar systems. It has allowed net metering for loads up to 500 kW, he said.

(Under net-metering rules, customers are allowed to offset their normal grid electricity consumption with power generated from their rooftop solar system, and pay for the balance grid electricity consumed.)

He said the recent move will not only favour the country’s target to reach 40 per cent energy generation through renewable sources by 2030 but also maintain Karnataka’s pre-eminent position of solar power generation in the country.

Stating that particulate matter pollution affecting the health of citizens in cities needs to be addressed, he said solar power installations are the right step in this direction.

He said a number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Dakshina Kannada district had put their plan of installing roof-top solar systems on hold as the ‘Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules 2020’ had allowed net-metering for loads up to 5 kW. Now they can boldly make financial investment, he said.

Submitting the comments to the ‘Draft Electricity (Rights of Consumer) Rules 2020’ to the Union Power Ministry in September 2020, KCCI had pointed out that the then move to allow net-metering for loads up to 5 kW was problematic for consumers (above 5 kW) who were procuring solar from their rooftop to reduce their electricity bill.

Also read: India's renewable energy growth stalled by delay in signing PSAs

KCCI had then argued that if gross-metering is introduced, the electricity generated from rooftop solar systems of consumers would be purchased by state-level distribution companies at a rate fixed by the state-level regulators, and that amount would be reduced from consumers’ electricity bills.

Vas had then stated that this rate was far too low to provide any incentive to residential, commercial and industrial customers to procure their rooftop solar systems.

Published on April 12, 2021

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor