• In a bid to encourage residential segment to adopt rooftop solar, Delhi cabinet has approved the Mukhyamantri Solar Power Scheme
  • Under the scheme, the government will be a party to a tripartite agreement signed between the government, cooperative group housing society (CGHS) and the service provider
  • Total power will be generated at a cost of INR 3.00 ($0.041) per kWh; while the society will not have to pay any installation charges, it will pay INR 1.00 ($0.014) per kWh for the cost of power generated
  • Delhi government will shell out INR 2.00 ($0.028) per kWh as generation based incentive (GBI)
  • Independent homes will pay installation charges and the Delhi government will not be a party to the agreement signed between the homeowner and service provider, but it will pay GBI of INR 2.00 ($0.028) per kWh

Indian government has a mammoth target of 40 GW of rooftop solar installations to achieve by 2022. As of July 2018, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) says cumulative rooftop PV was only 1.22 GW. While commercial, industrial and non-residential segment has shown interest in adopting it, the residential segment is yet to open up to it.

A lot of it has to do with finances as installing a solar panel doesn’t come cheap for a household. To address this concern, the administration of Delhi government has passed an order for consumers in cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) in the region who wish to use solar power for domestic use-they don’t have to pay for installation of solar panels.

Local media reported that the Delhi cabinet has approved this under Mukhyamantri Solar Power Scheme. For this purpose, there will be a tripartite agreement between the group housing society, the service provider and the Delhi government and the panels will be installed under Renewable Energy Service Company (RESCO) model. Private company will bear the installation cost.

According to the scheme, solar panels will be installed at a height of 2.4 meters on a 10 square meter space for 1 kW solar energy. It will generate clean power at a cost of INR 3.00 ($0.041) per kWh, for which the CGHS will have to shell out INR 1.00 ($0.014) per kWh, while the Delhi government will pay INR 2.00 ($0.028) per kWh as subsidy or generation-based incentive (GBI). All of this power will be used to light up common areas, run elevators and water pumps and the like.

Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain was quoted by The Times of India newspaper as saying that if the housing societies provide more space for solar panels than what is required, the cost of energy consumed by them would come down further as the companies will be able to sell the additional power to the grid.

For independent homes, the installation cost comes to INR 45,000 to INR 55,000 ($618.8 to $756.3) per kWh. While this target group will pay installation cost from their own pocket, the government will extend its GBI of INR 2.00 ($0.028) per kWh to them, and additional energy can be sold to the grid, under an agreement signed between the homeowner and the service provider.

With this scheme, the minister expects 100 MW of installations in the next one year. Delhi aims to have 1 GW of installed solar power capacity by 2020 and increase it to 2 GW by 2025. The government says since Delhi Solar Policy 2016 came into being, it is able to produce only 100 MW of solar energy, with most of it deployed on government buildings. Some 5 MW is produced by some housing societies and independent homes put together.