A broken solar panel stands in the village of Bhamana, Maharashtra. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Government Proposes Rs 23,450 Crore Rooftop Solar Scheme

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is making another attempt to boost the adoption of rooftop solar projects in India.

The Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India proposes financial assistance to the tune of Rs 23,450 crore from the central government to state power distribution companies, or discoms, for installation of rooftop solar plants in residential sectors.

Performance-based financial support will accelerate deployment of rooftop solar plants, according to the ministry’s concept note. The scheme will integrate discoms as an implementing agency in the second phase of the rooftop solar scheme, the statement added.

Discoms will be incentivised to install grid-connected rooftop solar plants in their area. Funds will be released on a quarterly basis upon receipt of project installation reports.

The concept note, once approved, will serve as the basis of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s revised scheme for solar rooftop and will replace the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ note submitted in April.

Streamlining The Solar Push

The Narendra Modi government had unveiled a 'Grid Connected Rooftop and Small Solar Power Plants Programme' in 2015, with the aim of supporting the installation of 4,200-megawatt capacity by 2019-20. So far, 2,047-megawatt peak capacity plants have been sanctioned under the programme, and about 845-megawatt peak aggregate capacity plants have been installed.

However, consumers had to approach multiple agencies for permissions, which in turn, led to slow implementation. The new scheme proposes to streamline the system by making discoms’ local offices the nodal points for implementation.

The ministry has sought feedback on the concept note by December 31.

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