Rooftop solar sees 90% spike in state, city in just 2 years, ET EnergyWorld

MUMBAI: The solar rooftop capacity across the state and Mumbai region has risen by around 90% in the past two years. More than one lakh residential consumers now have the facility to avail of zero monthly electricity bill in lieu of excess solar generation, a senior govt official told Mumbai Mirror this past week.

While in Maharashtra, the rooftop solar installed capacity rose from 1,000MW in 2021-22 to 1,900MW in 2023-24, currently the entire Mumbai region has an installed capacity of around 150MW.

Recently, there has been an overwhelming response to the Prime Minister central scheme providing a higher subsidy than before for rooftop solar and ensuring zero monthly power bills for excess generation. More than 5,000 applications were cleared in less than a month and so far nearly 1.4 lakh consumers (including 1 lakh residential) across Maharashtra have opted for rooftop solar, said MSEDCL managing director Lokesh Chandra.

Chandra further said solar was accorded priority by the state–which also planned a major project of combining solar with pumped storage hydro-elecric project to ensure that renewable energy was available to consumers 24×7. If the government implements the project, it will reduce power purchase costs and thereby result in a drop of tariff for consumers across the state.

The state power utility caters to 2.8 crore consumers of which over 2 crore are residential users.

Also, due to ongoing solar projects, MSEDCL will no longer be required to buy short-term power from outside. Maharashtra has created a roadmap for projects to generate 5,220MW of renewable energy with an investment of Rs 41,000 crore and job creation potential for 6,760.

A senior govt official from Mantralaya said, “Due to the initiative taken by MSEDCL, 1.38 lakh consumers across the state have opted for rooftop solar so far and the installed capacity is 1900 MW. This includes one lakh residential consumers (of whom nearly a thousand are in the MMR).”

Manoj Sinha, CEO and Co-founder, Husk Power Systems, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new ‘Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana’ aims to harness rooftop solar power for millions of households across India. Initiatives like these will fast-track our nation’s Net Zero journey, with the potential to achieve the 2070 goal two decades earlier–in 2050.”

Last week, Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd and Union Bank had a tie-up to boost rooftop solar adoption among residential consumers in line with the PM central scheme–with loan limits extended up to Rs 15 lakh for residential users, sources said.

Power experts, though, said urbanised areas such as Mumbai continue to face challenges of “space constraints” to install photovoltaic (PV) plates. In non-urbanised areas, several houses and farms reap the environmental benefits of solar energy due to a lot of open spaces and independent houses having adequate rooftop areas.

Meanwhile, several residential consumers have availed of benefits of rooftop solar and got concessions in the monthly electricity bills through the net metering system. For instance, if you generated 125 units through solar power in a month and consumed 300 units a month, you will have to pay for just 175 units (300 minus 125) after deducting units generated by a solar rooftop.

In 2016-17, the state had only 1,074 domestic rooftop consumers and 20 MW of solar power generation capacity. It has grown a huge 95 times in seven years and now crossed 1900 MW capacity.

The state also won six national awards for being a top performer in rooftop solar. Gujarat remains the leading state for PV installations followed by Maharashtra. Mumbai metropolitan region contributes 8% to the solar rooftop installed capacity in the state.

  • Published On Mar 25, 2024 at 08:28 AM IST

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