India Seeking Feedback On Rooftop Solar Net Metering

MNRE Taking Steps To Promote Rooftop Solar In Rural India Via Virtual/Group Net Metering

India Seeking Feedback On Rooftop Solar Net Metering

Rooftop solar in India has not completely taken off as utility scale solar, and remains concentrated in urban areas. The MNRE is now seeking to popularize it in rural regions too and has sought public feedback on draft SOP for the same. (Photo Credit: TaiyangNews)

  • MNRE has issued a draft SOP for the implementation of VNM or GNM mechanism for rooftop solar in rural India
  • It has proposed to install rooftop solar system on an aggregate basis, and not individually, either on a single piece of land taken on lease or panchayat land
    • Power generated can be proportionately adjusted in the electricity bills of each home as GNM or VNM

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India has invited feedback on draft standard operating procedure (SOP) document for the implementation of virtual net metering (VNM) and group net metering (GNM) mechanisms to encourage use of rooftop solar among rural households.

While VNM is defined by the MNRE as an arrangement where energy generated by a renewable energy system is exported to the grid via gross meter, GNM on the other hand allows for surplus energy generated to be exported to the grid through net meter.

So far, rooftop solar installations in India are mostly concentrated in urban areas alone where rooftops are made of concrete structure. On the other hand, rural residential rooftops are not sturdy enough to host heavy modules which deprives them from using this clean energy.

The ministry also points out that people in rural areas belong to lower income groups who can’t afford capital investment in a solar installation. They also avail low electricity tariff compared to urban regions, hence the low motivation to opt for solar.

To deal with this situation, the ministry proposes to install rooftop solar system on an aggregate basis, and not individually, either on a single piece of land taken on lease or panchayat land. Projects can be installed on RESCO or CPAEX mode with net metering facility for individual household, meaning solar generation from the plant is proportionately adjusted in the electricity bills of each home in the form of either GNM or VNM.

“This mechanism will also improve the electricity supply in the rural area, reduce T&D losses, improve financial position of discoms as the consumption towards subsidized category will reduce, etc. Further, such plants will have additional benefits of low cost due to economies of scale and ease of O&M,” according to the draft.

The ministry also believes it will develop economic activities, improve standard of living and also contribute to safety and security of local people.

Last date to submit feedback is August 31, 2022 as per the draft document, available on MNRE’s website.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Senior News Editor: Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.Before joining our team, Anu worked in various positions at publications of the Times Group in New Delhi. As a Principal Correspondent, she conceptualized special features and supplements for both The Times of India and The Economic Times. While Anu delved deep into solar at TaiyangNews, environment topics have been close to her heart before. As Assistant Editor, she was responsible for launching Planet Earth for The Economic Times, a special series on environment. Before joining the Times Group, Anu was a Copy Editor at the Hindustan Times.Anu holds a Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Rajasthan. She also studied at the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi on E-Outreach: New Media Technologies for Advocacy and Strategic Communication, Social Media

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