Giving a major push to clean energy, the AAP government on June 6, 2016, came out with an ambitious policy, announcing incentives and tax breaks to promote solar power and making it mandatory for government and public institutions to install rooftop solar panels.
The solar policy, finalised at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, aims to make Delhi a ‘solar city’, through generation of 1,000 megawatt of power by 2020, and taking it further to 2,000 MW by 2025.
The government said building bye-laws were amended for rooftop solar installations, up to a height of two metres.
The height of the installed solar panels, will not be counted towards the total height of the building as permitted by the building bye-laws, except near airports where building regulations issued by the Airport Authority of India take precedence, said a government official.
The official added that no approvals will be required from the municipal corporation or any other urban development bodies concerned, like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), for putting up solar plants and any additional system for monitoring the performance of the solar plant in existing or new buildings.
“Making Delhi a solar city, is part of our 70-point agenda. This policy, which is very progressive, will help in providing clean and green energy,” said Kejriwal, pointing out that rooftop solar systems offer sustainable energy, environmental benefits, low gestation period and minimum transmission and distribution losses.
The policy outlines a combination of regulations, mandates, incentives, and tax breaks for the growth of rooftop solar power in the capital.
- The policy mandates deployment of solar plants on all government-owned rooftops in the next five years.
- It requires private power distribution companies to meet at least 75% of their solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) within Delhi.
- The government said it was talking to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and New Delhi Municipal Council, for exempting electricity tax, which is currently 5% on solar power.
- Government is in consultation with the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission, to provide exemption on various other charges, such as wheeling, banking and transmission charges, for solar energy within Delhi.
- The policy also exempts certification by electrical inspectors, for solar systems of up to 200 KWp and self-certification will be accepted.
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Management Centre (EE&REM) of the power department, will be the nodal agency responsible for effective implementation of this policy in consultation with the state government, eligible consumers, the central government, other states and different stakeholders.
Benefits for consumers
Group net metering: To encourage solar plants on rooftops of buildings that cannot consume all of the energy generated locally, discoms will facilitate group net metering. This provision will maximise utilisation of rooftop space for solar energy generation for consumers with multiple buildings and service connections.
Virtual net metering: Also, to give access to the solar net metering facility, for consumers who do not have a suitable roof for installing a solar system (for example, residential consumers who live in apartments and consumers with shaded rooftops), there will be a facility of virtual net metering.
In virtual net metering, consumers can be beneficial owners of a part of a collectively owned solar system, whose energy will be fed into the grid through an energy meter and credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer.
Generation-based incentives: The policy approves a non-capital subsidy model for implementation of the targets outlined by it. It provides for performance-based incentives or generation-based incentive of Rs 2 per unit, for domestic households coming forward for installation of solar panels, on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. It will be applicable to solar plants which generate more than 1,100 units per KW per annum.
Delhi government will also facilitate capital subsidy (30% at present), provided by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to domestic consumers.