Though the state government recently lauded itself for installing the world’s largest single rooftop solar power plant facility in Beas, the concept of the renewable energy source has failed to attract power consumers in Jalandhar city.
According to the information gathered by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), since last year, when the concept was operationalised in the region, only three industrial units of the city have installed solar power plant at their establishments.
Supinder Singh, district manager, PEDA, said that the prime reason why industrialists are not forthcoming for installing solar cell set-up as the government has not made any provision for giving any subsidy to industrialists. However, the government gives 30% subsidy in the installation cost to residential establishments. Supinder said though the local industrialists here have not welcomed the concept of renewable energy source, the system has turned out to be a success in Ludhiana owing to the large number of industrial units there.
“The industrialists there (Ludhiana) look to the long-term profit since after a few years the solar power cell gives you the pay back assurance of one-time investment,” The current rate of installing solar power cell is Rs 80 per watt.
Meanwhile, the PEDA received as many as 217 applications for the household set-up in one year; but the set-up has been installed in only 18 houses.
“Though we receive applications, but only a few of the applicants turn up for installing the system,” officials said.
A PEDA official said after receiving the application, the PEDA office verifies the compatibility of the application with the prescribed norms of the government.
Officials said that any consumer, whether residential or commercial, can only apply for the 80% amount of power that is utilised. That means if a consumer’s daily power consumption is 10 kilowatt, he can only apply for 8-kilowatt capacity solar power plant, otherwise his application will get rejected.
After PEDA, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) officials conduct checking of the solar power meters after which the PEDA makes it sure that the consumer is following all the guidelines given under the Net Metering System.
After getting the certification, the consumers purchase the solar power cell.