Your city’s switching on the green way. Nearly 60 housing societies and commercial buildings in Mumbai have already started generating their electricity requirement by using rooftop solar power plants. Currently, these housing societies generate about 1,400 units of green power a day. And it goes beyond Mumbai. More than 400 other establishments across the state have set up their own solar energy panels to reduce their need for power generated by using coal. That’s more than 11,500 units of green power across the state. The quantum of power generated in Mumbai alone is a huge relief on the pollution front. The total quantity of green power generated everyday across the state is equivalent to planting 1.75 lakh trees as this amount of green power replaces an equal amount of power that would otherwise be generated by using coal a source of pollution.
Statistics put out by the state power regulator estimate that 150 more consumers from Mumbai and more than 1,600 in the rest of the state are slated to replace more than1lakh units of coal power with solar energy within a couple of months once they are provided with special electricity meters which are also known as net meters. A net meter, also called a reverse meter, shows the quan tum of green power and conventional energy utilized by a consumer. It reduces the power bill amount after netting off savings on green power vis-à-vis the power bill payable for use of conventional energy . expGreen energy derived from solar panels is meant for use in common areas of a buil ding. The balance energy which is left unutilized is then put up on the building power grid for common public use. This fetches the consumers a profit of Rs 2 to Rs 3 per unit which is calculated by the net meter.
Chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri), Ajay Mathur, says, “Green energy production the solar way will grow rapidly in a few years. After 2026, technology will be so established that people might virtually say no to coal power generated in power plants.“ However, Ashok Pendse, an expert in power-related matters, said there will be certain challenges to retain the cheap value of solar power–like the government and investors will have to retain consistency in generation of solar power in the absence of sunlight, for instance. “Besides, the shadow of highrise buildings on rooftop solar panels can affect efficiency,“ said Pendse. Another expert, Sunil Tongey, said that if a housing society invests between Rs1lakh and Rs 3lakh for solar panels and batteries, the cost can be recouped by three years. The report by TERI states that conventional energy can take care of country’s power supply till 2026, after which renewable energy–especially solar and wind–is expected to increase the country’s power capacity besides nuclear power.