Delhi is well behind its 2022 solar power target of 2,762MW of installed solar panels, having met an abysmal 7% of the target so far. The analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment as part of its State of India’s Environment 2021 report says this is also significantly behind the national average of 39%. While a number of societies in Dwarka in south Delhi have seen the large-scale installation of solar rooftops panels, other parties of the city are yet to accept the trend despite the incentives offered under the capital’s solar policy.
Experts attribute the low expansion to limitations in actual rooftop space and add that lack of awareness is not a major problem in Delhi. As one of them said, “The Delhi power distribution companies have several programmes and channels where consumers can connect with them and learn more about the benefits of generating solar power. The only drawback is that the geographical area is limited and so is the space for putting up solar panels on roofs.”
Saying that Delhi has fared well in comparison with other cities, the expert added, “Delhi’s regulations and policies are pro-solar energy. In fact, Delhi’s rate for adjustment of surplus solar output at the end of the financial year was around Rs 5 per unit when in most other states, it around Rs 2 per unit.”
The discoms pointed out that solar rooftops have been successfully installed in many places, including Saket, Vasant Kunj, Dwarka, Chhatarpur, Sainik Farms, Karkardooma, Mayur Vihar, Patparganj and Rohini. A BSES official said both BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) have been aggressively promoting roof-top solar generation in south, west, east and central Delhi.
“We have energised a record 3,200-plus roof-top solar installations with a connected solar load of over 110MW. In the current financial year, we aim to energise over 1,000 roof-top solar connections,” said the BSES official, adding that the response to rooftop solar net metering had been encouraging. Data shared by the discom showed over 1,800 connections had been installed in residential areas, over 600 in educational institutions, 578 were commercial connections and 35 industrial connections.
The official added, “Consumers across categories, including residential, educational (and schools) and commercial establishments have warmed up to the roof-top solar net metering in a big way.” According to the Union ministry of new and renewable energy, Delhi had installed solar roof-top capacity of a mere184.1MW until February 28. This deficit in meeting the planned solar generation target, however, is even more significant because Delhi has no wind power projects, hydro projects or biomass projects to generate power from other renewable energy sources.