BENGALURU: The government’s plan to encourage rooftop solar electricity generation in Bengaluru has fallen way behind its target in the current year.
Bescom, the nodal agency for installing grid-connected rooftop solar units, has achieved an installed capacity of just 3.4MW of 10MW it was to achieve for 2015-16.
It received 1,423 applications, but only 203 households eventually installed rooftop solar units.
Energy experts say is due to a lack of awareness among people, but citizens blame red tape and poor incentives.
Leena Mendez, a resident of Jayanagar, said, “I applied for a rooftop solar unit in June 2015, since my son insisted on it. But after calculating the capital cost at `90,000/kW, the total came to about `10 lakh. And then started the vicious circle of getting loans and sanctions.”
After running from pillar to post for three months, she dropped the idea of installing the solar unit. She is not the only one to give up on the idea of setting up a solar unit.
Karnataka offers the highest tariff for those installing rooftop grid-connected solar panels, at `9.50 a unit for consumers who take no subsidy, and `7.20 for consumers who get a subsidy for the installation.
Energy expert M G Prabhakar said, “Despite such lucrative terms, people are not keen because only 3 to 5 units are generated from a 1kW solar panel, and it takes about 10 sq ft of rooftop area to instal one.”
What people get in return is meagre, he explained.
For the grid scheme, Bescom received 1,423 applications, but only 203 households eventually installed rooftop solar units.
Energy experts attribute this disparity to a lack of awareness among people, but citizens blame red tape and poor incentives.
Deterrent for people in installing solar units
● Net-metering in grid connected roof-top solar units have failed to provide enough returns to the people
● The government has failed to ensure hassle-free loans for people willing to install solar units
● Not much awareness among the public and many are not aware of the government policies
● Most shops promotes battery-charged roof-top solar units, which is not cost-effective. Government agencies have failed to promote the grid connection.