With the background of scorching heat of June, 2016, the Delhi Government launched its Solar Energy Policy officially called as “Delhi Solar Energy policy 2016” which is a broad framework to regulate Delhi’s solar market and its potential for a four-year time period of 2016-2020. It’s been nearly nine months since kick-starting of the policy, it calls for a quick appraisal of the same!
With an aim of transforming Delhi into a “Solar City” the policy aims to build upon 1 GW (1000 MW) Solar energy generating infrastructure till 2020 and further envisages to double it up by 2025. The regulatory policy has the potential of lowering the state’s expenditure on energy through peak saving, strengthening its energy security, and reducing its reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels. It will also reduce the burden on the existing transmission & distribution system hence less expenditure will be required on their maintenance. The policy seems to implement its goals through broad certain actions supporting, incentivising and regulating the augmentation of necessary infrastructure in the solar market of the capital city.
The policy mandates the deployment of solar panel infrastructure on all Govt. buildings and institution’s rooftops in the next 5 years. Herein surplus power generated would be captured by DISCOMs for redistribution purposes. This initiative seems a very incentivising model which through its spill over effect will also profitably force the private sector to replicate the same and do the needful to procure renewable energy. Let us hope that the Govt. maintains this policy in its spirit and action therein.
With incentivising provisos like Virtual net metering and group net metering, the Govt. tends to incentivize the residents in apartments, flats, builder floors, bungalows etc. to install solar rooftop devices to capture the solar interstellar radiations and export/infuse the net energy not used by the building to the power grid of the area, and thus win credit in their respective electricity bills. This model as replicated from Germany, sets to provide for a greater monetary incentive to the residents of Delhi to utilize their unused rooftops to protect the environment in addition to gaining from the activity that reflects in their power consumption bills. The policy also aims as providing Generation based incentive (GBI) of 2 Rs. Per unit for domestic households which is applicable to Solar PV power plants producing more than 1100 units per KW per annum.
With talks going on with NDMC to exempt such households of electricity tax of 5% those who produce solar energy to a certain threshold, the Govt. would strengthen its incentives model to procure more amount of solar energy into the renewable power grid of Delhi and thus augments in fulfilling its 1 GW commitment by 2020.
The policy looks very promising on its first reading, the aims and objectives that it envisages to serve are much required for the city of Delhi which is facing an existential crisis as far as consumption fossil fuel based power is concerned. The point which this solar policy misses is the canon of providing cheap credit input to the residents for installing such expensive solar rooftops, which can easily be made available to them through Govt. infused green bond mechanism or priority lending options mechanism. Moreover, there is a presence of a plethora of by-laws and regulation for rooftop constructions as far as DDA and RWAs are concerned. Such laws have to be streamlined in accordance with the goals and objectives of the policy thus making it more implementable. Finally, making the equipment of Solar PV plant with a necessary human resource with skills required for its mainitainence and construction must be provided or at least be collaborated with the private sector with such bargain which is beneficial for both the capitalist and the public at large. If such shortcomings are weeded out, then implement ability of this policy framework is a mere cakewalk thus making India’s capital into a solar city, a first of its kind in India which makes the use of fossil fuel driven power to bare minimum and thus making the living in Delhi a more sustained which is founded on the bed rock of clean, green and renewable solar energy.