To meet the ambitious goal of installing 40GW of solar capacity by 2022; the union government has decided to work on “rent a roof” policy, said Anand Kumar, secretary ministry of new and renewable energy. Additionally, the government plans to release wind power tenders worth 24.5GW over the next two years.
India’s large ground-mounted, grid-connected solar parks have been the attraction to investors, and amidst this solar rooftop market got sabotaged. “We are now trying to work out a new programme called ‘rent a roof,’ wherein the developer will take rooftops on rent and will offer lease to each household, and then feed the power to the grid,” added Kumar.
The policy is showing up at a time when net-metering is also catching up in the market. A net-metering system is a way of billing in which the electricity comes after deducing the power generated from one’s solar rooftop panels from the energy used from grid.
There is a lot of scope of solar energy given its 750GW potential and 300 sunny days in a year, with average solar radiation range being 4-7 kilowatt-hours per square meter.
“Under ‘rent a roof’, anyone can take a roof. Right now, net metering is happening but it is for the individual household to go for it on its own. After this, all the responsibilities such as maintenance will be with the developer. We are working on the policy,” Kumar said.
If India wants to achieve its solar power target then this ‘rent a roof’ has to work out. According to consulting firm Bridge to India, there are many concerns as India is not expected to achieve even half of the solar rooftop targets by December 2021. Moreover, a parliamentary panel has called the target of 40GW grid-connected rooftop solar by 2022 as “unrealistic.”
The industry welcomed “rent a roof”. “We welcomed the move by government wholeheartedly. This will empower the solar energy industry to penetrate at the grassroots level and give every home a chance to be energy independent,” said Anmol Singh Jaggi, Director: Gensol Group –a solar advisory firm.
The central government is strategizing on expediting the auction of wind power contracts. India has 33GW of wind power capacity right now. It also auctioned 2GW of wind power contracts at record low tariff of INR 2.64 per unit in the October auction conducted by state-run Solar Energy Corp. of India.
“States will be bidding out around 500 megawatts (MW). In addition, we will be bidding out around 4,500MW by March. It will be followed by bids for 10GW next year followed by another 10GW in the year after. So, by March 2020, we want to finish our bidding so that we are able to achieve our target by March 2022,” Kumar said.