Government Rolls-Out Subsidies for Promoting Rooftop Solar in India
lubi solar       August 16, 2019
A tropical layout alongside 300 days of clear skies makes India a lucrative market for solar installation. Along with large MW scale installations, small and medium scale rooftop installations also contribute in taking the country’s power requirement off the conventional grid. The government having identified this has taken important measures to promote rooftop solar installations.
The performance of the solar installations has been good and this has instilled a sense of acceptance in the people, resulting in inbound demand for solar power installations.
One thing that has bugged customer sentiment for purchase, is the upfront cost of system ownership, which is sometimes on the higher side. Though the benefits outweigh the investment and can be justified commercially in terms ROI calculations, the decision tends to entice some apprehension. To promote solar rooftop projects and facilitate faster adoption , the government, central and state, through its nodal agencies has provisioned subsidies, thus trying to mitigate the apprehension.
For example, the Gujarat government has floated a 600 MW project for solar rooftop installation in the state, allowing upto 40% subsidy for rooftop systems upto 3KW and 20% subsidy for rooftop systems of 3-10 KW size. The tender intends to empannel installers for these systems. Similar measures are prevalent in various states of India. The quantum of subsidy is even higher in states with “special category” status, which mostly include states that are far flung and have difficult geographical landscape.
Solar Rooftop Systems: Benefits, Subsidies & More:
The one thing that differentiates solar from the other renewable energy sources is the smallest possible integrable unit. Solar power is accesible to the smallest household thus making it useful in a power deficit country like India.
In places experiencing frequent power outages, solar rooftop system can be used to generate and store electricity in storage units; generally battery, for use later.
Additionally to this, solar rooftop systems can be used to decrease the dependence on the grid for power, thereby directly effecting the commercials in terms of lesser electricity bills. To take things further, power distribution companies have provisioned net metering facility for installers of rooftop solar power systems allowing an offset of the total generated power against total power drawn from the grid. Some agencies are also offering direct purchase of the generated power at pre-determined rates under the ambit of a power purchase agreement.
Above all, the government has provided subsidies and benchmark system costs, making it affordable to own solar rooftop power plants and benefiting from it. This subsidy is applicable to institutional, residential and social sectors. However, this is not applicable to the commercial sector, industrial and pubic sector undertakings. PSU’s shall be eligible to avail incentives on the basis of energy generation.
In addition to subsidy, people may also choose to avail priority sector loans upto 10 lakhs from nationalized banks. This loan shall be availed in the name of home improvement loan.
Minimum Requirements For Installing Solar Rooftop Systems
- The rooftop solar system requires 15 Sq Mtr per KW of strong and shadow free roof area. It is very important to check for shadows on the rooftop especially from the south direction. A shadow free area is imperative for performance of the solar power plant. Along with shadow free, it is desirable that the roof has sufficient load bearing capacity. Typically 15 Kg/ mtr is minimum requirement for installing solar plants.
- Solar panel from a recognized manufacturer is mndatory. One, because solar panels makes upto 60% of the total system cost. The output per panel and hence system efficiency depends on panel efficiency. The quality of solar panels is thus very important.
Second, the system warranty involves a 25 years performance warranty for solar panels and hence requires credible solar panel manufacturers. Several prominent solar panel manufacturers like LUBI, Vikram, Waree etc provide efficient products that adhere to critical MNRE standards.
Process For Availing Subsidy For Rooftop Solar Plant
Interested beneficiary should contact their DISCOM/State Nodal agency to express their interest, which is followed by official visit for feasbility check. This process may also be faciliated through the various emapanelled agencies. The details of the empanelled agencies can be availed from the concerned government body.
The beneficiary shall proceed with installation and commissioning of the system after basic checks by the government agency.
Post installation, the beneficiary has to facilitate a visit by the inspector for approving the subsidy. The customer after completing the customary documentation can then avail subsidy