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Three cities in India show interest in rooftop solar

According to reports, Jaipur, Mysore and Thane have come forward to do pilot projects for grid-connected rooftop solar, Mr Tarun Kapur, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, told Business Line. “Talks are on with one or two more (cities),” Mr Kapur said.

Grid-interactive rooftop solar power plant is the ‘big story’ about the “solarisation” of India. Delhi, which had proposed a rooftop programme with feed-in tariffs as incentives, recently said it had give it up, because of the question “what if somebody produces electricity using a diesel genset and claims higher feed-in tariff meant for solar-generated power?” In contrast, Gandhinagar in Gujarat has gone ahead with the rooftop programme and has even awarded its implementation to two companies (Sun Edison and Azure).

Clearly, Mr Kapur pointed out, feed-in tariff is not the way to go about it, because it is amenable to fraud. The Ministry is therefore in favour of capital subsidies for rooftop projects, so that the cost of power generated is around Rs 7, not much higher than grid power. Today, as a thumb rule, a 10-kW rooftop system could cost Rs 22 lakh and would generate at best of times 4 units of electricity a day. The cost of generation works out to Rs 10-12, half of what it would have been even, say, three years ago, but still much higher than grid power.

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