Rooftops – Indian Solar’s New Frontier by Ritesh Pothan

Rooftops – Indian Solar’s New Frontier

Post 2009, Solar has been buzzing with medium as well as large projects and has recently crossed 6500MW at the end of March 2016, though installed capacity with rooftops currently at less than 0.25% of installed capacity. JNNSM and Gujarat projects accounted for almost a GW within a couple of years and propelled India into the big leagues.

This is however in deep contrast to global standards where roof’s account for majority of installations. Below is a chart that defies belief especially since solar is a distributed solution albeit used a centralized one in India to replace coal and fossil fuel dependent plants. Large ground mounted plants bringing with it the hassles of (AT&C) losses currently around 25% estimated to cause approx. Rs. 75,000 crore loss yearly for discoms. So for every 1 KWh generated only 0.75KWh reaches the consumer which isn’t the case with rooftop solar where there is no waste due to Transmission or Wheeling distances and inefficiencies.

Solar roof are a dire need for the nation as it reduces the CAD and brings in energy security to a growing populace desirous of safe, clean and consistent energy to increase the economic growth rate. Every unit of energy delivered is a force multiplier of magnitude in elevating the economic standards of the receiver.

Poor attention has been paid to this method of generation specifically since its not a medium of control or political benefit. Very few states recognize the importance of delivering off grid and independent energy delivery systems that reduce dependence on inefficient delivery mechanisms.

For the nation to grow, it needs to be supported by sufficient infrastructure and incentives to the common man whereas too much attention has been paid to large schemes and not enough to direct delivery. Solar rooftops is one such casualty of a populistic mindset but its undergoing changes a step at a time.

Commissioning Status of Grid Connected Solar Power Projects under JNNSM
Sr.
No.
State/UT Total cumulative commissioned capacity till
31-03-15 (MW)
Total commissioned capacity during 2015-16 (MW) Total cumulative commissioned capacity till
31-03-16 (MW)
1 Andhra Pradesh 137.852 435.114 572.966
2 Arunachal Pradesh 0.025 0.240 0.265
3 Bihar 0 5.100 5.100
4 Chhattisgarh 7.600 85.980 93.580
5 Gujarat 1000.05 119.123 1119.173
6 Haryana 12.800 2.587 15.387
7 Jharkhand 16 0.186 16.186
8 Karnataka 77.220 68.242 145.462
9 Kerala 0.025 13.020 13.045
10 Madhya Pradesh 558.580 217.790 776.370
11 Maharashtra 360.750 25.006 385.756
12 Odisha 31.760 35.160 66.920
13 Punjab 185.270 219.793 405.063
14 Rajasthan 942.100 327.832 1269.932
15 Tamil Nadu 142.580 919.240 1061.820
16 Telangana 167.048 360.795 527.843
17 Tripura 5 0 5
18 Uttar Pradesh 71.260 72.235 143.495
19 Uttarakhand 5 36.145 41.145
20 West Bengal 7.210 0.562 7.772
21 Andaman & Nicobar 5.100 0 5.100
22 Delhi 5.465 8.815 14.28
23 Lakshadweep 0.75 0 0.750
24 Puducherry 0.025 0 0.025
25 Chandigarh 4.5 2.306 6.806
26 Daman & Diu 0 4 4
27 J&K 0 1 1
28 Himachal Pradesh 0 0.201 0.201
29 Mizoram 0 0.100 0.100
30 Others(PSU/channel partner )under Rooftop 0 58.311 58.311
  TOTAL 3743.97 3018.883 6762.853

2015 has seen some dramatic changes in policy especially in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Maharashtra a state that refused to have anything to do with solar under the previous government is now looking at a huge target but implementation is still tightly controlled by the state owned generator.

Karnataka launched the most progressive rooftop FIT policy in the country by offering a huge premium for solar rooftop generation and to date has signed rooftop PPAs more than 800 MW in sizes varying from 1 KW to 1MW. Yet due to the greed of locals hawking their offtake agreements just few MWs have been installed.

Gujarat has a rooftop policy but refuses to approve proposals given that it has already met its RPO targets for years, TN, AP, Telangana all are yet to get off the ground.

There is an urgent need to standardize the FIT (Feed In Tariff) across states as well as simplify regulations and procedures. The paltry target achievement of 166 MW is testament to the fact that the current policies aren’t working even sub-optimally. Dependence upon subsidy or government offtake can’t sustain the field on its own, barriers need to be removed, single window clearances with timely subsidy payouts are sorely needed

Refer to the table for installations upto Feb 2016

Status of Grid Connected SPV Rooftop Projects Sanctioned to States/Uts/SECI/PSUs and Other Government Agencies  
    GCRT Scheme NCEF GCRT
Scheme
GCRT+NCEF As on 29.02.2016
Sl. No. State/UTs Projects Sanctioned under MNRE Scheme to SNAs/State Deptts. (MWp) NCEF BY MNRE (MWp) In Principle approval given (MWp) Total Sanctioned and approved in principle Total Achievements (MWp) Achievement by SECI
(in MWP)
Achievement by Channel Partner/NE without subsidy
(in MWP)
Total Achivement (in MWP)
A B C D E F G H I J
1 Andhra Pradesh 5.5 4 30 39.5 1.986 1.395 0.69 4.071
2 Bihar 0 0   0 0 0.1   0.1
3 Chhattisgarh 0 5 6.2 11.2 16.28 0.8   17.08
4 Chandigarh 6.06 2 12.44 20.5 6   0.225 6.225
5 Delhi 0 8   8 8 3.246 0.192 11.438
6 Gujarat 5.75 0 6 11.75 21.151 1.654 0.61 23.415
7 Goa 0 2   2 0     0
8 Jharkhand 0 0 5 5 0.18   0.006 0.186
9 J&K 0 0 7 7 1     1
10 Haryana 0 5   5 0 2.901 0.637 3.538
11 Himachal Pradesh 0.894     0.894     0.201 0.201
12 Kerala 10.28 5   15.28 0.1   0.92 1.02
13 Karnataka 0 0 0.935 0.935 4.817 2.493 2.141 9.451
14 Madhya Pradesh 5 0 110 115 0 0.6   0.6
15 Maharashtra 0 0   0 0.125 5.983 0.736 6.844
16 Manipur 3.4     3.4       0
17 Mizoram             0.1  
18 Odisha 0 4   4 0 0.86   0.86
19 Puducherry 0.018 0 0.02 0.038       0
20 Punjab 5 0 20 25 23.481 2 0.707 26.188
21 Rajasthan 6 0 25 31 2.98 2.704 0.198 5.882
22 Tamil Nadu 6.74 5 300 311.74 4.516 7.8 0.882 13.198
23 Tripura 0 0   0 0     0
24 Telangana 0 4 70 74 5.78 2.535 0.648 8.963
25 Uttarakhand 5 2 44 51 5.925   2.02 7.945
26 Uttar Pradesh 2 5   7 0.05 3.569 0.096 3.715
27 West Bengal 2.98 3   5.98 0.5 0.634 0.058 1.192
28 Andaman & Nicober Island     1 1       0
29 Lakshadweep     1 1       0
  Sub total 64.622 54 638.6 757.217 102.871 39.274 11.067 153.212
30 Solar Energy Corporation of India 50 149.6 750 949.6   39.274   39.274
31 Ministry of Railways 0 52.5 450 502.5 1.5 1.5   1.5
32 Allocation to PSUs 46 59.864 211.492 317.356 11.365 11.365   11.365
  Total 160.622 315.96 2050.1 2526.673 115.736 39.274 11.067 166.077

Another concern is the load shedding in certain states during Solar Generation Peak hours that renders any unused generation wasted especially since load shedding is a daytime phenomenon. The rooftop industry with just 166MW installed across the country is still very nascent and has a long way to go yet with educating the user being the highest hurdle to cross.

SECI is doing its part with the new 500MW Solar Rooftop tender which is pushing solar energy to homes and offices. The Central Financial Assistance (CFA) i.e. Subsidy which was dropped last year has been reintroduced but rightly excluded government and private industries.

SI.

No.

Category Coverage of buildings Central Financial Assistance/Achievement linked Incentives & awards
(i) Residential All types of residential buildings CFA upto 30% of benchmark cost for General Category States/UTs and upto 70% of benchmark cost for Special Category States i.e., North Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar  Islands.
(ii) Institutional Schools, health institutions including medical colleges & hospitals, universities, educational institutions etc. [applicable to not-for-profit registered organizations only, except those covered under SI. No. (iv), (v)(vi)}. CFA upto 30% of benchmark cost for General Category States/UTs and upto 70% of benchmark cost for Special Category States i.e., North Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
(iii) Social sector Community centres, welfare homes, old age homes, orphanages, common service centres, common workshops for artisans or craftsman, facilities for use of community, Trusts/NGOsNoluntary organizationsrrraining institutions, any other establishments for common public use etc.{applicable to not–for–profitregisteredorganizations only,except those coveredunder SI. No. (iv), (v)(vi)}. CFA upto 30% of benchmark cost for General Category States/UTs and upto 70% of benchmark cost for Special Category States i.e., North Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman  & Nicobar  Islands.
(iv) Government Buildings Buildings of Both Central, &. State Government , local government covering all Government offices. No CFA.

Achievement linked Incentives/awards will be provided.

(v) Government Institutions Government Institutions, Public Sector Undertakings, all buildings owned by Government directly or by any Government owned  societies, companies, corporations , Institutions or organizations, Government educational/ health institutions . No CFA.

Achievement linked Incentives/awards will be provided.

 

(vi)

Private, commercial and  industrial sector All types of buildings. No CFA.

No  CFA   is  applicable   for   any   type   of   Government   buildings,  Government   institutions/Government organizations including PSUs. Only achievement linked Incentives/awards will be eligible.

Under the TN Chief Minister’s Solar Rooftop Capital Incentive scheme, the Tamil Nadu Government provides a capital subsidy of Rs. 20,000 per kilowatt for grid-connected domestic solar PV systems in addition to the 30% subsidy scheme of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India. For individual homes or flats, the solar system capacity shall be 1 kW. For residential flats solar system capacity of 5 kW, 10 kW and multiples thereof can be applied for common usage as group application.

Kerala’s 10,000 rooftops was a really innovative scheme which highlighted the distributed nature and advantage of solar, though after that the state has come to a standstill due to certain issues. The current subsidy disbursed is barely above 50% which says a lot given that it’s a prosperous state and yet barely 6000 house’s have installed solar

Almost Rs. 5000 crore has been set aside for Solar rooftops and with the center now moving towards incentivizing the home owner, we should see some movement in this segment. For India to be energy secure, roof based solar coupled with storage is the only viable solution for the future.

– Ritesh Pothan

Published in RE BOOSTER JUNE/JULY 2016

About Ritesh Pothan

Ritesh Pothan, is an accomplished speaker and visionary in the Solar Energy space in India. Ritesh is from an Engineering Background with a Master’s Degree in Technology and had spent more than a decade as the Infrastructure Head for a public limited company with the last 9 years dedicated to Solar and Renewable Energy. He also runs the 2 largest India focused renewable energy groups on LinkedIn - Solar - India and Renewables - India
This entry was posted in CERC, Cross Subsidy Surcharge, DISCOM, Government, Grid Connected, Grid Interactive Distributed Solar Energy Systems, India, Maharashtra, MNRE, Net Metering, Policy, Power Generation, Regulations and Procedures, Renewables, Residential, Rooftop, Solar, Subsidy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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