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Power-sharing plan for cheaper solar energy, electricity bills

According to reports, pushing for the need to change the paradigm of interaction between consumers and the government, R N Parasher, the chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission (HERC), voiced his support for ‘net metering’ for the success of solar power use in Haryana.
Parasher also requested industry professionals to submit a set of recommendations to be included in a draft for the renewable energy policy in Haryana while addressing a seminar on ‘Green Growth – Renewable Energy Opportunities in Haryana’.

Encouraging heads of various industries and commercial establishments gathered at the seminar including owners of hotels, hospitals and government establishments to co-generate the electricity from renewable sources, especially rooftop solar energy, Parasher said, “I have requested the government to provide suitable measures for connectivity with the grid and sale of electricity through distribution companies through net metering. I believe rooftop solar power should be promoted in Haryana rather than stand-alone solar plants as they are not a very successful model.”

Pushpender Singh Chauhan, additional deputy commissioner for renewable energy in the state, said, “Our department is also in the process of promoting the net metering concept in the state. The state government has also created State Energy Conservation Fund (SECF) and Rs 2 crore has been earmarked as revolving funds for providing interest-free loan for energy efficiency investments.”

Sameer Munjal, vice-chairman, CII Haryana state council, said that although renewable energy technologies currently represent a fraction of the energy market in India, it has tremendous potential to undergo rapid growth and provide alternative solutions to traditional resources. “With varied agro climatic zones providing sufficient raw sources like sunlight, wind, flowing water and flora, India offers ample opportunities to shift to large-scale use of new and renewable energy sources,” said Munjal.

Net metering is a system that lets you send excess power generated at your home, through solar panels, for instance, to the grid and get energy credits in return that you can adjust with your bill. Its most obvious benefit is that it could create a self-reliant neighbourhood, where surplus power generated in one house can be used by another and vice versa, creating a power pool of sorts that can be tapped into at all times. Net metering also helps discoms cut costs as well as scale down dependence on conventional power. The concept is still new in India, primarily because tapping solar energy continues to be expensive, but several states are keen to frame policies encouraging net metering.

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