Delhi’s solar policy will come into effect from April, eight months after it received the Aam Aadmi Party government’s approval.
The move will not only help households avail the 30% subsidy offered by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) but also prevent dubious vendors from hawking substandard solar panels in the capital.
Starting April, residents planning to install solar energy generation systems on their rooftops will receive a list of 75 government-certified vendors to choose from. “Next week, we will start accepting applications from interested people. Advertisements will also be issued in this regard. We aim to have solar panels capable of generating 75 MW of power installed at private residences and buildings run by trusts,” said Varsha Joshi, secretary (power).
Though the MNRE scheme offering 30% subsidy to those installing solar systems on their rooftops was launched in November 2015, city residents were unable to take advantage due to the Delhi government’s delay in tendering the list of eligible vendors.
Under the scheme, people who wish to install solar panels of 1-5 kW will have to invest only between Rs 70,000 and Rs 2 lakh. The price would further plummet once they start generating power, with consumers getting an additional generation-based incentive of Rs 2 per kW of solar power for a period of three years.
Once the policy comes into effect, consumers will be able to fix rates through a competitive process and choose vendors as per the capacity of the solar plant they wish to install. At present, manufacturing and installation of small-sized solar plants are mostly carried out by Chinese companies that offer no service warranty or performance guarantee. While they are cheap, most stop working just months after installation.
“The new process will build confidence in the people because prices will be kept under check, and quality as well as post-installation services will be guaranteed,” an official said.
A study by the power department has revealed that the rooftops of most households in the capital have 10 to 50 square metres of shadow-free area.