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Solar rooftop projects moving at snail's pace in Rajasthan

The solar rooftop programme in Rajasthan is progressing at a snail’s pace with the total capacity reaching only 52 MW, three years after the state government unveiled a new net metering policy

jaipur Updated: Jan 20, 2018 21:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Solar rooftop projects,snail's pace,RERC
The centre has given a target of 2,300 MW to Rajasthan for solar rooftop by 2022, which according to the officials is ’too steep’.(HT File)

The solar rooftop programme in Rajasthan is progressing at a snail’s pace with the total capacity reaching only 52 MW, three years after the state government unveiled a new net metering policy.

Rooftop was expected to receive a fillip after Rajasthan announced net-metering policy in February 2015, under which, an individual could use the power generated and the surplus could be fed into the discom's grid.

The Centre has given a target of 2,300 MW to Rajasthan for solar rooftop by 2022, which according to the officials is “too steep.”

“The staggering pace of the rooftop programme is primarily due to two reasons. First, the domestic consumers are reluctant to invest, since they get their regular power supply (by the discom). Second, the industry and the commercial establishments are not showing any interest after MNRE (ministry of new and renewable energy) discontinued the 30% subsidy,” an official familiar with the matter said.

Under the net metering policy, the government has invited citizens to partner with the company winning the bids and allowing utilisation of their free roof space. Once the project is installed on their rooftops, they are paid a tariff for the energy exported to the grid by the state distribution companies (discoms).

In October last year, Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) came out with tender for 18 MW of grid-connected rooftop solar projects under the RREC’s rooftop power generation program for 2017-18. However, the interest has been lukewarm.

Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) issued a tariff order for rooftop solar PV systems covered under RERC net metering regulations 2015, where net excess energy (more than 50 units) exported to the grid by the consumers would be paid a tariff of Rs 3.93 per unit.

Earlier, the projects being set up by the industry and commercial establishments enjoyed a subsidy of 30% provided by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE). However, the MNRE stopped the subsidy last year.

While admitting that solar rooftop implementation is not moving at desired pace, RRECL managing director
BK Dosi said, that the government buildings are installing solar rooftop as per their requirement. Overall, Rajasthan has developed solar capacity of 2,246 MW and is under way to triple the capacity to 7,000 MW by 2019 end.

First Published: Jan 20, 2018 21:51 IST