Govt. lines up $2.5 bn to boost rooftop solar units
The government has lined up almost $2.5 billion (about Rs.16,800 crore) for providing low cost finance to achieve the target of installing 40 GW grid-connected solar rooftop systems.“The ministry is in negotiation with the KfW Development Bank to secure soft loans of 1 billion euro. They have already provided $100 million funding,” The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Secretary Upendra Tripathy told reporters here.World Bank loanThe World Bank has committed a loan of $620 million, with the Asian Development Bank and the New Development Bank pledging $500 million and $250 million, respectively.“This will enable participating commercial banks such as SBI, PNB and Canara Bank to extend loan at or near base rates,” Mr. Tripathy said.He said in 2016-17, MNRE was trying to arrange an investment of Rs.6,000 crore for rooftop units.The government is committed to encourage rooftop solar projects and Power and MNRE Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate a national workshop on Roof Top Solar Power on June 7,” he said.
The power generated from solar rooftop plants installed even today is almost at par with the commercial tariff for consumers in many states. The cost of solar power is declining, while that of electricity from fossil fuels is rising.Today, it is possible to generate solar power from rooftop systems at about Rs.6.5 per kilo watt hour, which is cheaper than power generated from diesel gensets and also cheaper than the cost at which most discoms make power available to industries and high-end domestic consumers.On storage Mr. Tripathy said the government was working on providing subsidy.Keywords: rooftop solar units, solar energy, domestic power consumers, New and Renewable Energy