Thursday, 3 September 2015

Rooftops of govt buildings to lead solar power drive

The Delhi government's draft solar policy, to be placed for cabinet approval soon, mandates all Delhi government buildings to install solar rooftop systems within three years of the policy's notification. The draft has also proposed that all new commercial buildings with plot size greater than 500 sq m and 50% shadow-free rooftop area and all new residential buildings with plot size greater than 300 sq m and 50% shadow-free area install solar rooftop systems.

While the policy sets a target of 2 GW solar power generation by 2025, the implementation of the proposed provisions will rest with municipal corporations that are responsible for building bylaws.

The government is likely to introduce the RESCO model under which the consumers who provide the rooftop space don't pay for the installation upfront, they buy the power generated by the company instead. The draft policy is based on net-metering, with the government promoting development of grid connected solar rooftop systems to meet its own electricity needs and injecting the surplus into the grid.

The policy, accessed by TOI, states the market conditions have "never been more favorable" for solar rooftop systems. While solar tariffs have fallen by 6% to 8% per year since 1998, conventional energy prices in Delhi have risen by 6.9% per year on average since 2007.

It even has a provision for "consolidated net metering" where two net metered connections can be treated as single connection for energy accounting purposes. Such a system can be helpful in case of government buildings.

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