BENGALURU: The pace of installation of rooftop solar panels is slow, though the demand is rising, especially in non-government buildings. Power generation from this alternative source of energy since 2014, when the project to install solar panels commenced, has been 4.5 MW in government buildings and 148.205 MW in non-government structures.
“Increase in power tariff, lower prices of solar panels and subsidy schemes offered by the state and Central governments have spurred people to opt for solar panels and to become self-sufficient. But the sale of power to the grid is still less. In some apartment complexes, solar panels are mandatory and are kept as a back-up option. In government buildings, however, solar panel installation is still low,” said a Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) official.
In all, 3,294 consumers have installed solar panels, of which only 70 are in government buildings. In 2020-21, 717 panels were installed of 16.564MW capacity, compared to 700 in 2019-20 of 21.45MW capacity. The cumulative green energy generation in Bescom limits up to March 31, 2021 was 152.705 MW, officials said.
“Despite repeated attempts, government departments are not keen to opt for this energy source. Though the State Government had earlier said that all government buildings should switch to green energy, nothing has been done. Some departments have switched over to solar panels, but the capacity is minuscule and has hardly made any impact,” an expert said.
Power experts working with the government said that the challenge is changing the wiring in some of these old government buildings. There are no such issues in structures that are being constructed or renovated, they added. “It is indeed a sad state of affairs. While the government insists on installing solar panels, it is not implementing the rule. It should have been a part of annual maintenance works,” the expert added.