THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the long run, the government hopes to make rooftop solar panels mandatory in 3,000 square feet-plus buildings, Electricity Minister Aryadan Mohammed said here on Tuesday.
He was speaking after inaugurating an international conference on ‘Rooftop grid-connected solar photo voltaic power plants’ organised by the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT) at Hotel Mascot.
The seminar is a prelude to the ‘Solar Homes’ initiative, through which ANERT hopes to generate 100 MW of electricity from 10,000 roof-mounted grid-connected solar photovoltaic power systems during 2012-13.
Aryadan said that the Government hoped to increase it by another 100 MW from one lakh rooftop panels the next year. Energy security, he said, was emerging as a major challenge for Kerala.
The current installed capacity was only 2,896 MW, which was expected to go up to 6,000 MW by 2020. The daily average consumption stood at 58 million units (MU), of which home-grown power accounted for a mere 23 MU.
The daily imports accounted for 35 MU, of which 27 was from the Central generating stations and the remaining 8 MU the KSEB purchased at an exorbitant cost.
‘’Depending on conventional energy sources in future will not be judicious. The real solution lies in harnessing all possible non-conventional renewable energy sources. For Kerala, solar energy is a good solution. It is also sustainable and non-polluting,’’ the Minister said.
ANERT director P B Sugatha Kumar said establishing a one kW plant costs less than ` 2 lakh at present. He said the use of solar energy is expected to grow to levels comparable to hydro-electric power.
In Germany, the world leader in solar energy, the installed capacity of solar power stood at 25,000 MW and the European country planned to up it by 3,000 MW every year.
Power Principal Secretary Pradeep Kumar said that the cost of solar power was expected to come down in the years ahead and that of coal-based power to go up. The tariff and equipment costs are also decreasing, he said.
The seminar, which is also attended by experts from China, Germany, UAE and Thailand, will end on Thursday.