Rooftop solar power faces challenges due to lack of proper policy

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014: The consumption of non-conventional energy sources has seen an impulsive growth, and to bring some ease to the growing consumption of these resources, solar has been identified as a most viable alternative. While the government has already taken initiatives to promote consumption of solar energy, the clean energy activists feel that by using the rooftop sources for electricity generation for domestic and commercial purposes, can attract panel action in the state.

The government of India has put in several efforts within last 5 years to promote the use of solar power. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) was established for setting up the solar power generation plants and the target of achieving 20,000MW of solar power by year 2022 was set. But the state government has faced many hurdles due to lack of clear guidelines or notifications for establishing roof top generators which were affordable for vast chunk of urban population.

Going forth with the JNNSM, the central electricity authority laid down the strict guidelines and even directed all states to give legal supports for allowing the installation of roof top solar power generators. 13 states and all union territories have clearly provided the norms for setting up the grid connectivity to roof top sets which are being accepted as a non-conventional energy source. States including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Goa and Orissa have provided the guidelines for the same.

However, despite the efforts drawn from the government end, Maharashtra has failed to set the line. Sudhir Budhay, a city businessman, is trying to get this policy on track and at the same time, getting firm resistance from the state power distribution company which is in scared of heavy losses which may be incurred if consumers shift to solar power.

Budhay added, “While there is policy for solar power connectivity for units generating 1MW or more, there is no such clarity for smaller sets with less that 1MW or less than 33KV voltage level.”