Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Current Affairs - 2019

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‘SARAL’- State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index launched by Power Minister

RK Singh, Union Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy (IC) launched SARAL-State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index during Review Planning and Monitoring (RPM) Meeting with States and State Power Utilities, held in New Delhi.  SARAL evaluates Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development. Karnataka has been placed at 1st rank in Index followed by Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh which got 2nd, 3rd and 4th rank respectively.

SARAL: State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index

It is the 1st of its kind index to provide a comprehensive overview of state-level measures adopted to facilitate rooftop solar deployment.

Designed by: The Index has been designed by Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in collaboration with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst & Young (EY).

5 key aspects captured by SARAL

  1. Robustness of Policy Framework
  2. Consumer Experience
  3. Implementation Environment
  4. Business Ecosystem
  5. Investment Climate

SARAL encourages each state to assess initiatives taken so far and to improve its solar rooftop ecosystem. This will help states to channelize investments and will create a more conducive environment for solar rooftop installations, encourage investment and will eventually lead to accelerated growth of sector.

Significance: Power Ministry has set a target to operationalize 175 giga watt (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW solar power to be operational by March 2022 and 40 GW (out of 100 GW) is expected to come from grid connected solar rooftops. Therefore, launching the Index would incentivise rooftop solar by creating healthy competition among States and all States would be encouraged to adopt best practices being followed by top-ranking States.

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.