Our Bureau The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Wednesday issued a simplified procedure for installation of rooftop solar (RTS) plants by residential consumers. Under this, a national portal will be developed for filing applications by beneficiaries, as well as for approval and tracking the progress. “A national portal for registering applications from the beneficiary, approval thereof and tracking progress will be developed. There will be a portal in the similar format at the level of the Discoms and both the portals will be linked,” MNRE said in a statement. It is expected that the national portal will be developed in about six to eight weeks. Till the national portal comes into operation, the existing procedure for availing of subsidy for installation of RTS plant through Discoms will continue and will be the only authorised procedure to avail subsidy from MNRE.

After the portal is set up, the beneficiary will have the choice of installing RTS availing either of the options, it added.

Linking the portals

The household beneficiary, who wishes to install RTS under the new mechanism, will apply on the national portal and will be required to submit necessary information including details of bank account where the subsidy amount will be transferred. At the time of application, the beneficiary will be informed about the complete process and subsidy amount that can be availed for installation of the RTS plant. The application will be forwarded online to the Discom concerned for issuance of technical feasibility approval within the next 15 working days. After the application is transferred, it will also be displayed on the Discom portal. Under the simplified procedure, the beneficiary has to install the RTS plant within a specified period otherwise his application will be cancelled and he has to re-apply for installation of the RTS plant, MNRE said.

Bringing more users

Faced with poor performance of the rooftop solar (RTS) programme in the residential space, the government last month said that individual households can now opt for a vendor of their choice, and the subsidy amount for purchasing the equipment will be credited directly into their bank accounts. Under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), India has committed to increase the share of non-fossil-fuels in installed power capacity to 40 per cent by 2030, which was raised to 50 per cent at COP 26. The Government also set the target of 100 GW of solar power capacity by 2022, of which 40 GW is to be achieved through RTS, and of this 4,000 MW is for residential RTS. In December 2015, Phase-1 of the RTS programme was approved targeting 2,100 MW capacity addition by FY20 through central financial assistance (CFA). Against this, as of December 5, 2021, an aggregate capacity of 2,098 MW has been sanctioned of which 1,319 MW was reported to have been achieved. Subsequently, in March 2019, phase-2 of the RTS programme was launched with two components. Under component A, the ministry aims to set up 4,000 MW capacity in the residential sector with CFA, while under component-B, the target is to incentivise Discoms based on achievement towards initial 18,000 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar plants. As of December 5, over 3,339 MW capacity has been sanctioned to various Discoms, while around 1,070 MW capacity has been reported to be installed. Cumulatively, more than 5,570 MW RTS capacity is reported to be installed in the country and the Ministry has released around ₹3,147 crore as CFA .