It’s time to switch to solar

All energy produced by the system will be fed into the grid through an energy meter and the exported energy is credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer of the collective. 

Published: 18th March 2020 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2020 10:36 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The mercury is rising! Instead of equipping ourselves with watermelons and air conditioners to stay cool, why not consider going solar this summer? Renewable solar energy is a state-wide focus and Tamil Nadu is striving to make solar energy available, accessible and affordable to all. It is projected that the state will have an installed solar energy generation capacity of 8,884 MW by 2022. Of this target, 40 per cent is expected to be met by consumer scale solar energy generators, which are essentially self-owned, and operated solar PV systems, which are part of rooftops of individual buildings.

This makes any available rooftop viable for solar energy harvesting! As an added incentive, corporations, municipalities and local urban bodies will provide property tax abatement to domestic building owners who install consumer scale solar energy systems. In order to understand consumer-scale solar energy, it becomes vital to understand what is popularly called “net metering”. All of us are familiar with our regular electricity meters; in the case of solar power, the existing meter needs to be replaced with one that measures both the energy import (from the grid to the consumer) and energy export (from the consumer to the grid). These meters are known as bidirectional energy meters or import-export energy meters.

The rooftop solar panels harness energy from the sun and convert that to an AC (alternating current) by a solar grid inverter. The output of the solar grid inverter is connected such that the electricity flows to the loads of the buildings (lights, fans, appliances etc.). If the solar energy produced is more than what the building loads consume, the surplus energy will automatically be exported to the State distribution network (the grid). If there is less solar energy than what the building requires, the shortfall will be drawn from the grid (energy import). This ensures constant electricity supply to a home even on days when harnessing solar power is a challenge due to cloudy skies, etc. 

As an addition to the previous policy of 2012, the current draft includes “group net-metering”. In case of excess energy produced by a building rooftop, the surplus can now be exported to the grid and adjusted in any other service connection(s) of the consumer within the State of Tamil Nadu. This will maximise the utilisation of rooftop space for solar by those with multiple buildings and service connections. Similarly, for those who do not have rooftop space for a system, a “Virtual Net Feed-In” is possible. Through this system, one can be part of a collectively owned solar system.

All energy produced by the system will be fed into the grid through an energy meter and the exported energy is credited in the electricity bill of each participating consumer of the collective. So, whether you are thinking about it or not, solar power from your roof or your neighbor’s roof is now possible. So go online, learn more and become your own clean green electricity generator today! Going Solar is a great way to beat the rising mercury and save money at the same time.

Pavitra Sriprakash @pavisriprakash

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp