GURUGRAM: The total installed capacity of solar power in the city has reached 25MW this year — a 47% increase from the corresponding period of 2017 — underlining the growing potential of renewable energy in Gurugram, a city that also happens to house the secretariat of the International Solar Alliance.
Haryana Renewable Energy Department (HAREDA) officials, who attended a conference in the city on Saturday, said demand was picking up and they were optimistic that the rates of solar power production and consumption would increase further in the coming months.
They said though the existing solar energy capacity was far less than what was required (a peak demand of 1,600MW on a summer day), the city was moving in the right direction.
The conference was organized by an NGO, Gurugram First, to identify main bottlenecks and facilitate action to remove hurdles to make Gurugram a solar city. Apart from HAREDA officials, DHBVN representatives and RWA members from across the city were present at the meeting to deliberate on ways to increase solar power consumption.
According to HAREDA officials, currently there are about 500 net-metered projects (houses/buildings that have opted for net-metering scheme) in the city. Further, 5MW of the 25MW is generated through subsidised rooftop panels, which highlights the success of government initiatives taken to boost renewable energy generation. “We have some issues with respect to net-metering scheme, which are being resolved on a priority basis with the assistance from DHBVN officials,” said Rameshwar Singh, project officer, HAREDA.
Singh said they were receiving positive response from both domestic as well as commercial consumers in the city.
“Initially, there were some trust issues with this new technology. People were hesitant in installing solar panels on their rooftops despite subsidies offered or opting for net-metering incentives. But slowly, more and more consumers — both domestic and commercial — are showing interest. It suggests Gurugram is marching in the right direction with respect to renewable energy,” he added.
The Haryana government in September 2014 had announced a grid-connected solar rooftop policy and made it mandatory for every new home across the state with an area up to 500 square yard or more to install a solar power system.
The policy was all applicable for commercial and industrial consumers, besides hospitals, malls and hotels. Under the HAREDA guidelines, consumers in the domestic category receive an incentive of Re 1 per unit while industrial consumers get 25 paisa per unit of power added to the grid.
In another initiative, the government offers subsidies to consumers who purchase solar panels and other equipment from affiliated sellers. Under this scheme, Singh said HAREDA had doled out subsidies to the tune of Rs 2.5 crore in Gurugram along in the year 2017-2018.
Haryana has a target of adding 4,142 MW of solar power by 2022.