The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing Rooftop Solar Programme Phase II to promote rooftop solar (RTS) in the country including in rural areas, wherein RTS capacity aggregating 4,000 MW by 2022 is targeted for installation in the residential sector.
What is the cost involved? For individual households, subsidy up to 40 percent of the benchmark cost is provided for RTS plants up to 3 kW capacity and 20 percent for RTS plants of capacity beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW. For Group Housing Societies/Residential Welfare Associations (GHS/RWA), the subsidy is limited to 20 percent of the benchmark cost for RTS plants of capacity up to 500 kW used for supply of power to common facilities.
Who will fund the project? The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February gave its approval for the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving a cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022. The programme will be implemented with the total central financial support of Rs 11,814 crore.
Under the Phase-II of the programme, the focus will be on increased involvement of DISCOMs. Performance-based incentives will be provided to DISCOMs based on RTS capacity achieved in a financial year (i.e. 1 April to 31 March every year till the duration of the scheme) over and above the base capacity i.e. cumulative capacity achieved at the end of the previous financial year.
What are the benefits of the programme? The programme will have a substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emission. Considering average energy generation of 1.5 million units per MW, it is expected that the addition of 38 GW solar rooftop plants under Phase-II by year 2022 will result in a CO2 emission reduction of about 45.6 tonnes per year.
The programme has directed employment potential. Besides increasing self-employment, the approval is likely to generate employment opportunities equivalent to 9.39 lakh job years for skilled and unskilled workers for the addition of 38GW capacity under Phase-II of the scheme by the year 2022.
How does the government plan to take the programme forward? The following steps are taken by the government for the overall promotion of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Systems in the country:
- Launch of phase II of RTS with Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for residential sector and incentives in slabs for the Power Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) for the achievement of additional capacity over and above the installed capacity of the previous year.
- Earlier under Phase-I of the programme, CFA assistance for residential/ institutional/social sectors and achievement linked incentives for government sectors was provided.
- Assistance to states in the development/ integration of online portal and aggregation of demands relating to rooftop solar projects.
- Preparing model MoU, PPA and capex agreement for expeditious implementation of RTS projects in government sector. Ministry-wise expert PSUs were identified for handholding and providing support for the implementation of RTS projects in various ministries/ departments under erstwhile phase I of the programme.
- Advising states to notify the net/gross metering regulations for RTS projects. At present, all 36 States/UTs/SERCs have notified such regulations and/or tariff orders.
- SPIN-an online platform developed for expediting project approval, report submission and monitoring progress of implementation of RTS projects.
- Facilitation of concessional loans from World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) through SBI and PNB respectively, for disbursal of loans to industrial and commercial sectors, where CFA/incentive is not being provided by the ministry.
- Renewable energy included under priority sector lending
- Declaration of the trajectory of renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) upto year 2022
- Quality standards for deployment of solar photovoltaic system/ devices notified.
- Innovative Business models for rooftop solar shared with the states
- Information and public awareness activities through print and electronic media.