According to reports, even as it is getting ready to formally launch its ‘10,000 rooftop’ programme, Kerala is working on the next step—another programme to facilitate an additional 25,000 rooftop solar plants in the State.
But unlike the 10,000-rooftop programme, which is to be formally launched on February 11, the next one will be grid-connected.
This was disclosed by the Director of the Agency For Non-conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), M. Jayaraju. ANERT is Kerala’s nodal body for driving renewable energy.
The regulations for the grid-tie 25,000 rooftop programme are being evolved by the Kerala State Electricity Board and will have to be approved by the state electricity regulatory commission. Jayaraju expressed confidence that the programme would be brought in before 2014.
The State Government is also working on the subsidy to those who put up rooftop solar plants. In the current ’10,000 rooftop’ programme, the State gives a subsidy of Rs 39,000 for a one kW system, over and above the subsidy given by the Ministry of New and Renewable Sources, Government of India. (Incidentally, this programme is for 1 kW per household—no subsidy will be given for any capacity beyond 1 kW.)
For the current programme, ANERT has empanelled 15 companies. Any person who is interested in putting up a solar plant on his roof could get it done by any of these companies and be eligible for the state government subsidy.
With the subsidies from both the central and state government, the cost for the 1 kW system works out to be around Rs 80,000. ANERT is also talking to banks for facilitating funding for even this amount, Jayaraju told Business Line on Tuesday.
Kerala is suffering from a big power deficit, Jayaraju said. Since no power plant has come up after NTPC’s Kayamkulam plant in 1998, the peak power deficit in the State is as much as 1,600 MW.
A uniqueness of the state is that about 80 per cent of the demand is from the 90 lakh-odd domestic consumers. However, most consumers are affluent and would not mind putting up solar plants on their roofs for the sake of energy security, he said.
ANERT on its part is putting up a 2 MW ground-mounted solar power plant near Palakkad, Jayaraju said.