Residents enjoying subsidised power may not be inclined to adopt solar: Ministry
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed that subsidies could be provided for encouraging rooftop solar installations in residences, according to a concept paper.
In the paper, the Ministry examines ways to boost the country’s rooftop solar capacity, including the provision of subsidies, since the current electricity tariffs do not make it economically viable for residents to adopt rooftop solar.
The paper also explores the idea of bringing distribution companies to the forefront of implementing rooftop solar. “It is understood that a policy shift is required for expeditious implementation of rooftop solar program and this can only be achieved by reducing complexity of the implementing mechanism,” the paper said. “Accordingly, it is proposed to bring discoms to the forefront in RTS (rooftop solar) implementation by providing them performance based financial support to accelerate deployment of RTS plants within their distribution area and to make discoms the sole implementing agency for implementation of rooftop solar scheme of MNRE in the next phase.”
“It is proposed that CFA (central financial assistance) will be provided only for installation of RTS plants in residential sectors,” the paper added. “The residential users may install the RTS plant of capacity as per their requirement and the respective SERC regulation, however, the CFA will be limited up to 5 kWp (kilowatt peak) capacity of RTS plant.”
The paper justified the need for a subsidy for the residential sector by saying that, since this sector enjoyed the benefit of subsidised electricity rates, they would not be inclined to adopt solar until a capital subsidy mechanism was in place.
“CFA will not be available for other categories i.e. residential (beyond 5 kWp), institutional, social, government, commercial and industrial sectors as the beneficiaries in these sectors are high tariff paying consumers and adoption of solar would be economically beneficial for them,” the paper said.