With a fall in prices of solar modules, more and more Indians are leaping towards solar energy. The government has also poured in efforts to promote development of solar technology and set an ambitious goal of installing 40GW of electricity from rooftops projects by 2022.
Indian government is trying to realise this ambition with the help of Net Metering –a way to convert a simple rooftop into a miniature solar power plant. But sadly, there is lack of awareness about net metering slowing down the pace of it in India, even in the states where it has been already implemented.
Concept behind Net Metering
Speaking in layman’s terms, net metering is a process via which the electricity board keeps a dab on the consumed energy as well as generated by a solar-powered house. If the users have surplus energy left then they can send it to the grid and receive credit on their electricity bills.
For instance, consider you are living in a net metering enabled state, you are producing more electricity through your solar power plant than you are consuming, the excess electricity can be sent to grid and you will get compensation at the same tariff from the electricity board on your bill.
What are the Pros?
- Less Resources Needed
Just because the plant is fixed at rooftop of commercial and individual buildings therefore they do not require vast areas like their solar park cousins.
Moreover, they don’t need expensive batteries as they use state powered grids for storage of electricity.
- Lower Electricity Bill
With the rise of Net Metering you have to only pay for the difference between your consumed electricity from the grid and electricity generated from the solar panels. You will see a significant decrease in the electricity bills.
- Lesser Maintenance
The components used in net metering like solar panels, Inverter and mounting structures need almost no maintenance or even significantly low. As generators or batteries are not used therefore the costs are far less.
- Better Utilisation of Energy
A lot of energy is lost when it travels from the grid to your home in transmission and distribution. This is not the case in Net Metering systems as the electricity is generated and consumed at the same place.
- Low Per Capita Energy Footprint
Since now you will be using sunlight for generation of electricity you will be reducing the per capita energy footprint and help control climate change.
Understanding the Working
A net metering system generates DC energy at first but later on converts it into AC power with the use of a power conditioning unit and then it is fed to the grid.The system generates power during the day time which is utilized fully to power captive loads and feed excess power to grid. The captive loads receive the energy from the grid in case of rainy or cloudy day. States have to replace the old metering system with the new bidirectional meter that displays both import and export energy separately, in order to adapt net metering.