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Delhiites can soon sell solar power to distribution companies

By Gaurav Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi: Delhiites will soon have an opportunity play a pivotal role in saving the environment by installing solar power plants on the rooftops of their houses and even earning by selling electricity to power distribution companies (DISCOMS).

The Delhi government, in partnership with the ministry of new and renewable energy, is planning to implement a plan on this.

“We are in the final stage of implementing the rooftop solar energy policy and it will be launched in 3-4 months,” a senior Delhi government official told IANS.

“This is a unique initiative of the government which will help promote clean and renewable energy in the city,” he added.

Under the proposed policy, by signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the company supplying power in their respective areas, the residents can get solar power plants installed on their rooftops.

The cost of setting up such a plant in an area of 200 square metres will be between
Rs.8 lakh and Rs.9 lakh.

According to the policy, house owners can either lease out their roofs to a developer, who will then set up the unit, or pay 30 percent of the cost of installation. The remaining 70 percent will be financed through banks.

The cost of generating each unit of power from the rooftop plant will be Rs 17.50 which the owner of the rooftop can sell to any of the power supplying companies.

Though the cost of the power generated from these plants will be high, the government will encourage DISCOMS by providing subsidies to them so that they can buy power from the residents.

These plants will be set up using the solar photo-voltaic technology as they can be easily mounted on rooftops.

The subsidy will be given under the annual revenue requirement.

“Even though the government is yet to make significant headway in the sector of solar energy, its availability is quite sufficient,” the official said.

According to India Meteorological Department data, most parts of the country receive 4 to 7 kilowatts of solar radiation per square metre every day. For Delhi, the figure is 5.5 kilowatts.

Energy expert Shankar Sharma is of the opinion that this is a positive move by the Delhi government as solar energy is an alternative source of energy.

“Solar energy is the future source of energy as the conventional sources of energy will soon be exhausted. Unlike the conventional sources of energy, the solar energy has no hidden costs,” he said.

“In fact, installing these plants on rooftops will not require water, coal or land to generate power. There will be no displacement of people to generate electricity. It is a positive move by the government,” he added.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at [email protected])