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Rooftop solar scheme

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 24, Jan 2022
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The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy has allowed households to get rooftop solar panels installed by themselves or by any vendor of their choice and a photograph of the installed system for distribution utility is sufficient to avail benefits or subsidy under the Rooftop solar scheme.

  • Earlier under the rooftop solar scheme, the households were required to get that from the listed vendors only to avail the benefits and subsidy under the scheme.

About the scheme:

Implemented by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Presently under implementation is the Grid-Connected Rooftop Solar Scheme (Phase II): It aims to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022.

This scheme is being implemented in the state by distribution companies (DISCOMs).

  • Under this scheme the Ministry is providing a 40% subsidy for the first 3 kW and 20% subsidy beyond 3 kW and upto 10 kW of solar panel capacity.
  • The residential consumer has to pay the cost of rooftop solar plant by reducing the subsidy amount given by the Ministry as per the prescribed rate to the vendor.

The major objective of the programme includes:

  • To promote the grid-connected SPV rooftop and small SPV power generating plants among the residential, community, institutional, industrial and commercial establishments.
  • To mitigate the dependence on fossil fuel based electricity generation and encourage environment-friendly Solar electricity generation.
  • To create an enabling environment for investment in the solar energy sector by the private sector, state government and the individuals.
  • To create an enabling environment for the supply of solar power from rooftop and small plants to the grid.

Benefits of rooftop solar:

  • An alternative source of electricity to that provided by the grid.
  • Environmental benefits: It reduces the dependence on fossil-fuel generated electricity.
  • Ability to provide electricity to those areas that are not yet connected to the grid — remote locations and areas where the terrain makes it difficult to set up power stations and lay power lines.

What is the potential for rooftop solar in India?

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has pegged the market potential for rooftop solar at 124 GW.

Challenges associated:

Variability in supply because of variations in efficiency of the solar panels and sunlight.

Additional cost for storage facilities.

Residential areas also come with the associated issues of use restrictions of the roof — if the roof is being used for solar generation, then it cannot be used for anything else.

The subsidised tariffs charged to residential customers undermine the economic viability of installing rooftop solar panels.