According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is working on a special policy for roof-top solar units, Mr Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, MNRE, said today.
Speaking at Intersolar India, a conference of the solar industry, and also at a press conference later, Mr Kapoor said that the government is “working on several options”. To aid policy formulation, a “brainstorming meeting” of all the electricity distribution companies (discoms) will take place in New Delhi on December 20.
The discussion would revolve around why, even with a 30 per cent capital subsidy, the ‘roof-top solar’ has not taken off in India.
“We will come up with something very special for roof-tops,” Mr Kapoor said. Today, the economics works out very well. With 30 per cent subsidy (on the cost of equipment), the cost of generation would work out to Rs 7, he said.
He observed that ‘net metering’, where a household could both receive power from and feed into the grid and be billed only for the net consumption, is very important for the development of roof-top solar units.
Today, legally the discoms can do it, Mr Kapoor said, observing that they are perhaps not sensitised to the issue.
He said that the industry is also not attuned to roof-top solar. “I have been telling them ‘please look at roof-tops’,” he said, adding that the industry itself is not much aware of the potential.
Mr Kapoor said that the government was confident that the country would have the targeted 1,100 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2013.
Stressing on the need for gathering of data of solar irradiance, Mr Kapoor said that the government has installed “51 solar stations” across the country up till now. A massive programme is underway to do solar resource assessment all across India.
Answering a question, he said that one of the key learnings from the Phase-I of the National Solar Mission was that it was advisable to have ‘solar parks’ where several developers could put up their projects. Solar parks make the job of putting in place the transmission infrastructure easy, he noted. Another learning was the importance of scale.