Delhi: Response to roof-top solar projects bleak despite ample promotions
Delhi: Response to roof-top solar projects bleak despite ample promotions
Praveen Dwivedi
Delhi: Response to roof-top solar projects bleak despite ample promotions

Delhi: Response to roof-top solar projects bleak despite ample promotions

Despite much-publicised roof-top solar projects, only 85 MW of solar system has been installed against the target of 312 MW in the national capital as of now. Out of the total solar system installed, nearly 95 per cent are on government buildings. The work in the residential sector has been almost negligible.

As per the data accessed by City Spidey, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is in top position with the installation of 16 MW of solar system on its buildings. The Airports Authority of India has installed 8 MW. IIT-Delhi has installed 2 MW whereas the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has installed 8 MW. Railway has installed 5 MW while the Delhi Secretariat has installed 2 MW.

The response in the residential sector has been almost negligible despite the efforts of the Delhi government’s power department and offer of extra subsidy. Only two residential societies including Milan Vihar Apartments in East Delhi and Shiv Bhole Apartments in Dwarka have given their roof-tops for the purpose of installing solar panels in the association of private firms.

To encourage residential sector for the solar system, the Delhi government had introduced a generation-based incentive (GBI) of Rs 2 per unit and it was given after the offer of 30 per cent subsidy on solar system by the central government.

A senior official told City Spidey that the Delhi government has offered GBI for a period of three years on a first-come-first-serve basis. According to the official, for that purpose, the government has allocated Rs 10 crore for the first year(2016-17), Rs 20 crore for the second year (2017-18) and Rs 30 crore for the third year (2018-19).

“We wrote many letters to housing societies and RWAs and also held several meetings with them on different occasions. But, their decision-making process was very slow. Societies were also concerned about solar panels occupying the space of roof-tops for 25 years,” a senior official said.

However, RWAs and representatives of Co-operative Group Housing Societies (CGHS) blamed the government for not reaching out to them with the proper proposal. “The government is expecting a good response without reaching out to the RWAs,” said Atul Goel, President of United Residents Joint Action (URJA) who is leading over 2,500 RWAs in the city.

People in residential sector have their own reasons for hesitating to install a solar system on roof-top of the buildings.

“Investment of Rs 60-70 lakh is an issue in some of the housing societies but it is not an issue in other societies. The main concern is lack of trust in government policy. Installing solar panels through a private firm is a big concern for societies. The expected time for the payment of subsidy (30%) is not clear. This was the main reason for people to hesitate in accepting the policy,” P D Bhatt, President of United India Apartments in East Delhi said.