The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved scaling up of budget from Rs 600 crore to Rs 5,000 crore for implementation of Grid Connected Solar Rooftop systems over a period of five years upto 2019-20 under the National Solar Mission (NSM). This will support installation of 4,200 MW Solar Rooftop systems in the country in the next five years.
The capital subsidy of 30 per cent will be provided for general category states/UTs and 70 per cent for special category states i.e., the North-Eastern States including Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands. There will be no subsidy for commercial and industrial establishments in the private sector since they are eligible for other benefits such as accelerated depreciation, custom duty concessions, excise duty exemptions and tax holiday etc. Recently the MNRE updated their policy regarding Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for Grid connected rooftop solar.
This capacity of 4,200 MWp will come up through the residential, government, social and institutional sector (hospitals, educational institutions etc.). Industrial & commercial sector will be encouraged for installations without subsidy. This will create a market and help build confidence of the consumers which will enable balance capacity through market mode to achieve the target of 40,000 MWp by 2022.
The government has revised the target of National Solar Mission (NSM) from 20,000 MWp to 1,00,000 MWp by 2022. Out of the stipulated target, 40,000 MWp is to come through grid connected solar rooftop systems. This approval will boost the installations in a big way and will act as a catalyst to achieve the goal of 40,000 MWp.
India has immense potential in generating solar energy
A large potential is available for generating solar power using unutilized space on rooftops in buildings. Solar power generated by each individual household, industrial, Institutional, commercial or any other type of buildings can be used to partly fulfil the requirement of the building occupants and surplus, if any, can be fed into the grid. So far, 26 states have notified their regulations to provide Net Metering/Gross metering facilities to support grid connected solar rooftop installations.
Today it is possible to generate solar power from the solar rooftop systems at about Rs.6.50/kWh. This is cheaper than the diesel gen-sets based electricity generation. It is also cheaper than the cost at which most DISCOMs would make power available to the industrial, commercial and high-end domestic consumers.
With the new initiative, India will emerge as a major country utilizing the roof space for solar rooftop systems on such a. large scale: This 40 GW will result in abatement of about 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year and will help to fulfil the commitment of India towards its contribution in mitigating the effect of Climate Change.