Industry News

Rooftop solar panels can cut 95% of bill

NEW DELHI: Households owning rooftop solar systems could save up to 95% on their electricity bills, says an independent study released at the CEEW Renewable Energy Dialogue 2018 by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). Residents buying power from a community rooftop solar PV plant, via a subscription plan, could also save up to 35% on their electricity bills. These savings have been estimated over the 25-year lifetime of these systems.

These are some of the findings from a study undertaken by CEEW in collaboration with power distribution utility BYPL in east and central Delhi. The study found that involving electricity distribution companies, designing innovative business models, and introducing financial incentives are key to scaling up rooftop solar in the residential sector.

“Solar system costs have declined by 27% over the last three years, making rooftop solar a lucrative investment. However, despite a 30% government subsidy, households have installed only about 400 MW of rooftop solar across the country (and 60 MW in Delhi),” says the report. Key challenges for residential consumers include high capital cost, lack of access to finance, lack of consumer awareness, issues with roof ownership and access, and a roof lock-in period of 25 years.

BYPL also teamed up with the council and came up with designs of three innovative utility-led models — community solar model, on-bill financing model, and a solar partner’s model. These models target residential consumers ranging from those living in gated communities to low-income consumers receiving electricity subsidies.

At the CEEW RE Dialogue, Praveen Kumar, Additional Secretary, MNRE, said, “Understanding and resolving the challenges faced by households, developers, discoms, and financiers will be crucial to speeding up residential adoption of rooftop solar.”

P R Kumar, CEO, BYPL, said, “Adoption of rooftop solar will also help us to manage the peak demand and fulfil our renewable purchase obligation (RPO). A large portion of our BYPL consumers are in the residential segment.’’