Slow rooftop solar scheme prompts government to work on new plan

Concerned over the inactivity in the country’s rooftop solar programme, the government today said only one GW rooftop solar capacity has been set up against the target of 40 GW and a new plan is in the making to end the shortcomings.

“We have set a target of installing 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022. And of this, 60 GW would come through ground-mounted and 40 GW has to come through rooftop.

“But as we speak today, against this target we have set up around 16 GW of ground-mounted and 1 GW of rooftop solar. So if I can admit…I can say that our rooftop programme is not doing really well,” Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Secretary Anand Kumar said here.

He was speaking at a workshop on rooftop solar organised by CII.

He enumerated reasons like clash of interest between discoms and high-end consumers for the inactivity in the rooftop programme.

“There is a clash of interest between discoms and high- end consumers. Discoms charge at higher rate for high-end consumers…and then in turn subsidise the residential sector or the farming sector…So we all must realise that we have to develop a win-win situation for discoms and consumers,” the secretary explained.

He said issues are arising as discoms are not interested in promoting rooftop solar. Moreover, there are issues of quality deficit and maintenance and operation of this programme.

In a bid to end the shortcomings, he said, the government is developing a new scheme called SRISTI – Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India.

“I am not saying that the new programme will definitely bring the success. But this programme is being developed to end the shortcomings of the present programme. And we are going to have our next meeting to finalise SRISTI on Monday because we cannot afford to loose more time thinking what we should do,” he said.

The meeting will see participation from a couple of discoms, and stakeholders from the private sector because they know where the issue is pinching, the secretary said.

A Parliamentary panel had earlier said that the rooftop solar target of 40 GW by 2022 is “unrealistic” and needs to be “reconsidered”.

Source: PTI


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