Experts Cite Limitations in Replicating 'Gujarat Model'
NEW DELHI: Supplementing energy demand in the national capital by harnessing solar power has become one of the top priorities of the city administration and for that officials have been sent to Gandhinagar to study the ‘Gujarat Model’ of tapping renewable energy.
On returning from Gandhinagar, the experts, however, are of the view that the national capital has certain limitations that could prove to be impediments in replicating the ‘Gujarat Model’. They are now looking at innovations that could help the concerned departments here to adapt the feasible aspects of the solar power projects in Gujarat.
While preparing a final report on their two-day study tour to Gandhinagar, an official, who was part of the team, said: “In Delhi there are limitations in implementing the rent-a-roof project, largely due to the nature and size of roof tops in Delhi’s residential areas. Gandhinagar is a planned city with symmetry in height and size of buildings. That is not the case in Delhi, barring some planned colonies and the buildings in the Lutyens’ Zone.” Gandhinagar has successfully implemented the ‘rent-a-roof project’ wherein residents give their rooftops on hire to private solar energy companies who in turn pay the owner of the house a certain rate for every unit of energy produced.
“Moreover, it also depends on the owner of the buildings whether they are interested in installation of solar panels or not. Before any such exercise, we would have to first consider issues like co-ordination between the power generation and distribution companies,” the official added. Officials said the Delhi Government has already taken certain initiatives like installation of solar panels on the government buildings including Delhi Secretariat, Vikas Bhawan, ISBT, school buildings and hospitals.
The New Delhi Municipal Council is also implementing an ambitious project of converting the Lutyens’ Zone into “Solar City” - wherein a particular area is able to meet five per cent of its total power consumption through solar energy. Sources said the installed capacity of solar photovoltaic in Delhi till 2013 was around 2.5 MW.
While Gujarat has done pioneering work in harnessing solar energy by installing solar panel on water canals and wasteland spread over several kilometres, officials said such experiments would be difficult to implement in Delhi due to paucity of land. “Land is a scarce resource in the city. And covering the sewage drains of the city by solar panels is not feasible as the gases emanating from these drains would affect the solar panels,” an official said.