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‘Distributors reluctant to buy solar power’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on November 18, 2015

The Centre had set a target of 40,000 MW of solar power to be produced by 2022 using grid-interactive rooftop solar projects but little progress has been achieved on that front, primarily because of the reluctance of distribution companies to procure solar power, said a top government official on Wednesday.

The targets were set in 2010 under the first Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.

Distributors’ fear

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Traun Kapoor told media persons on the sidelines of the Inter Solar India conference, that power distributors feel that their market would be lost if industrial units produce their own power using rooftop solar projects. They fear that their top-end customers could produce their own power depriving (power distributors) of the revenues, he said.

He pointed that it makes a lot of sense for industrial and commercial consumers to invest in rooftop solar projects because in some states such as Maharashtra, the distribution company tariff per unit is about ₹12. The rooftop helps the consumers reduce the cost to ₹7.

Regulation needed

Kapoor said that most State power regulatory bodies have come up with regulations for grid-interactive solar. State Governments have also come up policies for this new source of power. But the procedures and inspections take four to six months before solar power is pumped into the grid.

He said that the grid-interactive rooftop solar projects can’t be pushed by force.

Published on November 18, 2015
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