Karnataka is the best state to set up a rooftop solar project, followed by Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on August 20, 2019, issued guidelines to implement the second phase of its ambitious grid-connected rooftop solar photovoltaic programme. Under the second phase, 22 GW of rooftop solar PV projects must be set up.
Karnataka ranked the best for setting up a rooftop solar (RTS) project, according to the state rooftop solar attractiveness index (SARAL) released by the Centre on August 21.
Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh scored a rating of A++, while Jammu and Kashmir was placed at the bottom, according to media reports.
India targets to produce 40 per cent of its installed electricity capacity based on clean sources by 2030, in line with its commitment towards the Paris Climate agreement. As part of this, 175 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy capacity — 100 GW from solar, 60 GW from wind, 10 GW from bio-power and 5 GW from small hydro power — will be installed by 2022.
The MNRE had, in December 2015, approved a programme ‘grid connected rooftop and small solar power plants programme’, which aimed to install 4,200 MW rooftop solar plants in the country by year 2019-20.
But, in the first phase only 2,158 megawatt (MW) of rooftop solar (RTS) systems could be installed (till December 2018), according to MNRE data.
The Centre, on February 19, 2019, approved the second phase of the programme.
In the second phase, the electricity distribution companies (discoms) will play a key role in expansion of RTS, according to the guidelines. This is to ease the consumer’s challenge of approaching multiple agencies for getting a RTS plant installed. The discoms and its local offices would be the nodal points for implementation of the RTS programme.
The major components of the second phase of the programme are:
To install the grid connected RTS projects in residential sectors, a central financial assistance (CFA) of 4,000 MW will be provided to government-owned discoms.
For RTS systems up to 3 kW capacity, higher CFA up to 40 per cent will be given, while for those above 3 kW and up to 10 kW, the CFA would be limited to 20 per cent.
The CFA would be limited to 20 per cent for RTS plants that supply power for common facilities in group housing societies or residential welfare associations. The capacity will be limited to 10 kilowatt peak (kWp) per house and total not more than 500 kWp.
Only the government-owned discoms will be eligible to avail an advance CFA up to 30 per cent. For private discoms, CFA will be given on reimbursement basis.
Institutional, educational, social, government, commercial and industrial sectors will not be provided with CFAs.
The discoms will be provided incentives because they will incur additional expenses in terms of more man-power, creating infrastructure, capacity building, awareness, etc, to implement the project.
Thus, the incentive will be based on their achievement towards the initial 18,000 MW of rooftop solar projects.
The incentives may be provided for each megawatt peak capacity of solar rooftop, added by them in their distribution area over and above 10 per cent of base capacity installed at the end of previous year.
The discoms will also have to provide online monitoring system to ensure functioning of all the RTS plants.
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