Solar panels on the rooftop that produce a kilowatt of power are no longer beyond the reach of ordinary citizens. Such a project will cost around Rs 60,000, even less if the central government’s 30% subsidy is factored in. In fact, generating the energy to run two fans and two lights could come at the price of a high-end smartphone.
The investment of around Rs 50,000 on putting up the solar panels would have a payback period of around three years. Till a year ago, generating each kilowatt of solar power cost upward of Rs 90,000. “Over the past 6-7 years, the prices of solar modules have fallen 85%,” said Jasmeet Khurana, associate director (consulting), Bridge to India, a consultancy specialising in renewable energy. “This slide, coupled with increasing volumes, has led to the price crash.”
This has led to the notion that only large commercial projects stood to gain economically from solar power swiftly changing.
A kilowatt is equivalent to around 1400 units of power in a year, and the installed system would have a life of 25 years. All this requires is a shadow-free space of at least 120 square feet on the roof. The potential for rooftop solar power in the capital is 2200 MW; Delhi’s peak power demand is around 6,600 MW.