Increase in the demand for renewable sources of energy has set new avenues for solar energy to develop as the most sought-after energy resource for generating electricity. With the abundant availability of sun throughout the year, solar energy can be the best bet for meeting future demands. Solar energy in Delhi has a great scope to deliver the needs of power generation for commercial, industries as well as residential spaces. The total installed capacity of solar energy in Delhi is 106MW as on September 2018. However, the Delhi State government through a notification in the Solar Power policy, 2016 has set a target of installing 1GW of rooftop grid-connected solar power by 2020 and 2GW solar power by 2025 in Delhi alone. Solar companies in Delhi has seen a growing demand for installation of rooftop-based solar PV plants for residential, commercials and social sectors. Solar in Delhi with its availability in abundance is gradually expanding its legs to become one of the most sought-after energy resources of power generation. Solar power plant installation in Delhi specifically rooftop based are being promoted by the State Government through the incentives and subsidies to encourage a greater number of people to adopt this cleaner technology for meeting the target of becoming self-reliant in coming future.
Delhi’s policy wrt to Solar Energy
• Delhi Government aims to achieve the aggressive target of installing 1MW of solar power by 2020 and 2GW of installed solar energy capacity by 2025.
• Promote soft loans for solar energy sector from SBI and the World Bank.
• Solar rooftop plants with an installed capacity of 200Kw are exempted from the certification from Electrical Inspector.
• The Delhi state Government is committed to giving Generation Based Incentives (GBI) of Rs 2/unit on solar power generation to the residential/ domestic sectors for which the minimum generation of power is 1100 units per 1 KW solar plants per year and maximum limit is capped at 1500 units per KW per year.
• The vendors for the installation of Solar rooftop plants are empaneled basically thorough two models proposed by the Government CAPEX model and RESCO model.
o As per CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) model, the residential societies can install the solar rooftop power plants of any capacity based on the availability of space for which the upfront payment of 70% of the cost will be met by the empaneled vendors whereas 30% of the cost will be met through subsidy from MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), GoI. The maintenance of solar plant installed under MNRE scheme will be taken care for the 5 Years by the empaneled vendor and thereafter the societies itself will take an account of maintenance of the installed rooftop plants.
o As per the RESCO (Renewable energy service company) model, solar plants with a capacity more than 25KW can be installed for which the cost will be met by the empaneled vendor and it can recover the cost through Solar generation by billing the societies as per the signed agreement. The maintenance of the Solar PV plants will be taken care of by the empaneled vendor with its own cost for 25 years.
• As per the new metering policy, 2014 salient points are as below: -
o Connectivity of renewable sources-based power generation is on first come first serve basis in Delhi.
o The minimum installed capacity of solar power generation has to be 1 KW
o The capacity of the solar energy systems installed without extra charges will be equal to the sanctioned load of the area of the consumers.
o The total installed capacity of the solar power plants has to be 20% of the rated capacity of the transformers for net metering connection.
Future ahead for Solar rooftop-based plants
The State Government aims to convert major schools and Government buildings into a self-reliant building which can sustain its own energy demands. Solar system for homes in Delhi has the potential to lead a rooftop-based solar revolution. The solar power plant in Delhi is restricted to rooftop solar PV plants, due to the lesser land space available for the layout of panels on the large field. Therefore, adopting rooftop solar plants found great potential for its expansion and development. According to the study undertaken by the State Government on the conversion of power generation source from conventional thermal based power plants to solar power-based plants, the installation of 400MW capacity solar plants on govt rooftops can save up to 200 crores a year and it goes up to 5100 crores per year. The cost of a solar plant in Delhi is approximately Rs 65000 per KW power generation through rooftop-based solar panels. The price of solar power plants in Delhi per 1 MW of power generation may reach up to 4.5 – 6 crores. If this growth is continued for another decade with consistent efforts from the state government to promote solar energy, the future looks very bright for the country in terms of generating a cleaner technology to meet the future energy demands.