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Set up rooftop solar panels and get paid

Ajith Athrady, October 14, 2012, New Delhi, DHNS:

Install a solar panel on your rooftop to generate energy and sell it to the distribution company through the grid for money.

To encourage green energy, the Centre is planning a programme under which it will provide incentives, either financial or through a subsidy, to home owners installing a rooftop solar panel for own energy consumption, and who will sell the extra power to the grid during daytime.

The programme also contains a proposal in which a building owner can rent his rooftop to investors to set up a solar power plant.

The plan, which is still in a preliminary stage, says the electricity distribution companies can buy the power from households, either by paying money to the seller or giving subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill.

To introduce the system in India, which is prevalent in many European countries including Germany, there is a need to modify the current Electricity Act as well as develop locally suited technology, Union Minister of Power K C Venugopal told Deccan Herald.

Delhi to be first

The Delhi government is likely to be the first to implement the scheme as the government has started working on the issue. As per the Delhi Government’s proposed policy, residents can get solar power plants installed on their rooftops by signing a power purchase agreement with the company supplying power in their respective areas.

The cost of setting up such a plant in an area of 200 square metres will be between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 9 lakh.

According to the policy, house owners can either lease out their roofs to a developer, who will then set up the unit, or pay 30 per cent of the cost of installation.

The remaining 70 per cent will be financed through banks. The cost of generating each unit of power from the rooftop plant will be Rs 17.50 which the owner of the rooftop can sell to any of the power supplying companies.

The plants will be set up using the solar photo-voltaic technology as they can be easily mounted on rooftops, said an official in the Power Ministry.

The Centre which aims to produce 10,000 MW of solar energy in the 12th five year plan ( 2012-2017) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore, has already set up 61 solar energy monitoring units across the country.

The government has started collecting radiation data from these monitoring centres and accordingly it will encourage setting up solar plants, he said.

While Gujarat and Rajasthan are ahead with installed capacity of 3,000 MW and 1,000 MW solar energy, the Centre wants other states to follow suit.

Power is money


* A house owner can install solar panel on the rooftop to meet his power needs

* He can then sell the extra power generated to distribution companies

* The owner can also rent out the space for setting up a solar power plant

* In return, discoms will either pay in cash or give subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill


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