Solar Rooftop System Current Affairs - 2020

India plans to boost clean energy sector

The Government of India is planning to integrate largest lenders to the power sector in order to help clean energy firms clear their dues. It includes Rural Electrification Corporation (REC), Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA). The integration will help resolve growing crisis in the clean energy sector and also aid India achieve its ambitious targets in renewable energy.

Issue

The discoms are delaying their payments to the generators. This creates difficulties to the banking sector whose repayment is delayed. Eventually further loan processes get delayed. This creates a vicious cycle where the expansion of clean energy sector gets affected ultimately. The current issue hinders India from achieving an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

Measures to increase Solar Energy

Recently GoI launched several steps to achieve the target of 100 GW of solar energy by December 2022. It includes waiver of Inter State Transmission System charges and losses for projects that are commissioned up to December 2022. The Union Government also permitted 100% FDI in the solar energy sector. Apart from these various schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthan Mahabhiyan Yojana (PM-KUSUM) and Solar Roof Top programme were launched.

Measures to increase Wind Energy

In 2016, the Government issued Guidelines for Development of Onshore Wind Power Projects. It included site feasibility, online registry, real time monitoring, compliance of grid regulations and decommissioning plan. In 2017, the Guidelines for tariff based competitive bidding process for wind power projects were issued. Apart from these, the government is also promoting Generation Based Incentives for wind projects.

Govt targets to install Rooftop Solar projects of 40,000 MW by 2022

Government has set a target for installation of Rooftop Solar projects (RTS) of 40,000 MegaWatt (MW) by 2022 in the country including installation of RTS on rooftop of houses. New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh submitted reply in this regard to Rajya Sabha.

Key Highlights

Grid Connected Rooftop Solar programme is being implemented by Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Projects include installation of solar panels on rooftop of houses.

Total Rooftop Solar Installations in India: As of 18 July 2019 over 1700 Mega Watt of grid-connected rooftop systems has been installed in India. On an average it is estimated that 1.5 million units per MegaWatt/year are generated from solar rooftop plants.

Gujarat Model: In terms of area of solar rooftop installations, Gujarat has stood 1st in India with total 261.97 megawatts (MW) of installed rooftop solar capacity at present. Out of total 261.97 MW installation, 183.51 MW are subsidised installations and 78.45 MW are non-subsidised installations. On an average it is estimated that 1.5 million units per MW/year are generated from solar rooftop units.

Gujarat is followed by Maharashtra with 198.52MW and Tamil Nadu with 151.62MW in terms of installed rooftop capacity.

Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme

This programme seeks to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from rooftop solar projects by year 2022.

It will be implemented in two phases with a total central financial support of ₹11,814 crore.

Phase II programme provides for central financial assistance (for residential rooftop solar installations) up to 40% for rooftop systems up to 3kW and 20% for those with a capacity of 3-10kW. This 2nd phase will also focus on increasing involvement of distribution companies (DISCOM).

What is Solar Rooftop System?

Rooftop solar installations as opposed to large-scale solar power generation plants can be installed on roofs of any residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building.

They are of 2 types:

  • Solar Rooftop System which have storage facility by using battery
  • Grid Connected Solar Rooftop System.

Environmental Significance: On considering average energy generation of 1.5 million units per MW, it is expected that addition of 38 GW solar rooftop plants under Phase-II (by year 2022) will result in CO2 emission reduction of about 45.6 tonnes/year.

Employment Opportunity: Besides increasing self-employment approval is likely to generate employment opportunity equivalent to 9.39 lakh job years for skilled and unskilled workers.