Experts agree to findings of the solar rooftop report ‘Rooftop Revolution : Unleashing Delhi’s Solar Potential’
On 23rd July 2013, Greenpeace and BRIDGE TO INDIA launched their new report ‘Rooftop Revolution: Unleashing Delhi’s Solar Potential’. The findings were discussed at a prominent panel discussion, which included government representatives, state utility officials, solar system installers and members of resident welfare associations.
- There was an agreement that solar will be a key energy source for India and Delhi.
- The government officials stressed their commitment to Delhi going solar and highlighted past initiatives and ideas.
- Stakeholders agree with the report’s conclusion that it is the right time for Delhi to go solar and they would like the government to take the lead.
Delhi has so far has managed its power supply relatively well. The per capita electricity availability in Delhi today is around 1,650 kWh, which is more than twice the national average of about 780 kWh. Nevertheless, in spite of having one of the highest per capita electricity availability in the country, Mr. Anand Prabhu from Greenpeace believes that Delhi is unable to cope with the increasing demand for power. This is because Delhi is still dependent on imports for more than 60% of its power requirements. Mr. Narayanan, CEO of the Delhi DISCOM BSES Yamuna, also stressed that Delhi needs to go solar in order to reduce its dependency on electricity imports and keep its promise of 24×7 electricity supply. He is also of the opinion that Delhi needs to implement solar now and not wait for the future.
Mr. Tarun Kapoor, secretary MNRE mentioned that Delhi is already taking steps towards a solar power supply. A 1 MW rooftop power plant has been approved for the planning commission building under a RESCO model. Another 11 MW of rooftop solar across India (including Delhi) is being tendered and will be allotted within the next month.
Most of the stakeholders who were present at the launch agreed with the report’s conclusion that solar is already a viable alternative or will become viable for most power consumers within a few years. Mr. Deepak Gupta, former secretary MNRE, suggested that Delhi should have a dedicated financing mechanism for solar. People are currently able to buy cars, computers and other consumer durables on equated monthly installments. Similarly, solar should also have a financing option to reduce the burden of the high upfront cost. Mr. Gupta also mentioned that Delhi has 3,000 schools and if each school installs a 5 kW solar power plant, there would be a cumulative capacity addition of 15 MW. This could be a good start.
While Mr. Atul Goel of United RWAs joint action expressed concern about the installation of rooftops on multistory buildings, there was broad agreement amongst other panelists that residents are willing to install solar and that the issue of sharing rooftops would not be a concern. In addition to this, Mr. Ashwin Gambhir from Prayas Energy Group strongly believed that once there is economic viability and solar tariffs are lower than DISCOM tariffs, people will definitely opt for solar solutions. To know more about the viability of solar PV in Delhi across different consumer segments and the various business models that exist in solar, please download the report here: