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Mumbai has a potential of generating 1,720 MW of solar energy across rooftops on residences, educational institutions, commercial buildings, Government buildings and industry, according to a study report prepared by the National Centre for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) at IIT Bombay and four other organisations.

The five organisations — NCPRE, the Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (C-USE) at IIT Bombay, the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Bridge to India and Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Bombay section — have come up with this assessment in their report on ‘Estimating the Rooftop Solar Potential of Greater Mumbai’.

Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Rajeev Kapoor released the report at the IIT-Bombay on Monday.

In an effort to assess the solar rooftop potential of Greater Mumbai, and to simultaneously develop a methodology that could be used anywhere in the country, the five organisations had come together.

The team employed a variety of inputs and techniques, including GIS mapping of all structures in Mumbai, ward-by-ward division, existing land use (ELU) maps of BMC and 3D mapping to discount areas covered by shadowing. The computer-based analysis was supported and verified by site visits to some locations (conducted by student volunteers), and discounting of ‘weak’ structures which would not support solar panels.

During its study, the team used only open-source software. The methodology adopted by the study team is applicable to all urban places in Indian and can provide a framework for assessing the locations required for the proposed 40 GW rooftop target. “Given the detailed methodology presented in the report, a similar study could be replicated in urban and semi-urban areas across the country,” an IIT spokesperson said.

The 40 GW solar power generation forms a part of the National Solar Mission of the Government of India and envisages an ambitious target of 100 GW of solar energy to be installed in the country by 2022. This would not only provide a green and clean source of energy for the country and provide access to electricity in remote areas but also enable India to meet its commitments made at COP-21 in Paris.

In this study, the entire work was done by 120 students from 12 engineering colleges under the mentorship of research scholars from IIT-Bombay.


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