Delhi Solar Policy: Explained

In order to battle climate change, reduce air pollution, and improve energy security in India, a significant increase in renewable energy is required. The Delhi Government plans to quickly develop decentralised renewable energy sources, particularly solar, in order to lessen its existing reliance on unsustainable and centralised fossil fuel energy.

Rooftop solar

Because of Delhi's landlocked location, the high cost and scarcity of barren land inside its borders, and the minimal potential for wind and water power, the city must rely on rooftop solar as its primary renewable energy source. With about 300 sunny days per year and 31 square kilometres of rooftop area available for solar panels, Delhi has a potential of solar energy of 2500 MWp (annual Generation approx. 3,500 million kWh). From this potential, 26% rooftop solar potential is in the government/public sector, 25% rooftop solar in commercial/ industrial sector, and 49% resides in the domestic sector for Delhi rooftop solar plants.

Delhi's peak electricity demand in 2014 was around 6000 MW, with total yearly consumption of 27,266 million kWh in 2014-15. Because of the increased use of air conditioning during the summer, power consumption vary significantly over a 24-hour period. Energy utilities (DISCOMS) generally pay extra to fulfil short-term demand surges, which raises the average cost of power. Delhi's daily daytime peak demand curve closely resembles the rooftop solar system's generation curve, which can help to lower peak needs. Furthermore, most of the energy generated by rooftop solar systems in Delhi, is used at or near the place of generation, reducing transmission and distribution losses. Rooftop solar energy self-consumption also minimises the need for and difficulty of, installing additional distribution infrastructure, such as transformers, in congested areas of Delhi.

In short, rooftop solar systems provide sustainable energy, environmental benefits, a short gestation period, low transmission and distribution losses, a reduction in the requirement for distribution infrastructure, and peak load offset, all of which lower costs for DISCOMs and, ultimately, customers.

Solar power is also benefitting from better market conditions than before. While solar energy costs have declined 6-8 percent per year on average since 1998 (with solar panel prices falling 75% in the previous six years), traditional energy tariffs in Delhi have risen 6.9% per year on average since 2007. Solar energy tariffs in Delhi have become cheaper than conventional energy tariffs for the government, commercial-industrial, and high end of the residential segment, and are likely to achieve parity in the low-medium domestic segment after years of innovation and dropping pricing. As a result, the state of Delhi's input subsidies are not considered required. However, for a limited time, a Generation-Based Incentive sounds like a good idea to promote adoption in the domestic market especially in Delhi.

The Government of India (GoI) has set a goal of producing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, with 40 GW coming from rooftop solar plants. As a result, Delhi had set solar generating targets of 1GW by 2020 (4.2 percent of total energy consumption) and 2.0 GW (2000 MW) by 2025. (6.6 percent of energy consumed). This document aims to describe a robust and pragmatic Solar Energy Policy for Delhi in order to aid in the achievement of these goals. GNCTD will also enhance consumer awareness of solar energy, support capacity building, and foster healthy competition among solar providers, ensuring that solar power is widely accepted and Delhi emerges as India's leading solar metropolis.

The 10 broad objectives of the Delhi Solar Energy Policy are as follows:

i. In the long run, reduce Delhi's dependency on conventional energy while boosting energy security and lowering average energy expenses. Using a combination of generating targets, rules, mandates, and incentives, encourage rapid expansion of rooftop solar power.

ii. Encourage market-based approaches and public-private partnerships to generate demand and adoption with minimum government subsidies. Create efforts in Delhi to enhance public knowledge about solar energy.

iii. Ensure that all stakeholders in the solar ecosystem, such as rooftop owners, DISCOMS, investors, non-solar power customers, technology and services providers, are treated fairly.

iv. Use regulatory mechanisms to drive demand and adoption, such as requiring solar plant deployments on government rooftops, requiring in-state solar RPO targets for DISCOMS, amending building bylaws to facilitate solar plant deployment, defining responsibilities for solar plant inspection/certification, aggregating demand for solar projects, and more.

v. Simplify and streamline processes and ways to promote net metering/gross metering and grid connectivity for all solar facilities.

vi. Create jobs in the solar energy sector, particularly for youth, through skill development. Establish core technical competency among experts in the NCT of Delhi in order to launch and maintain excellent solar project and infrastructure management.

vii. Provide generation-based incentives for the domestic market, where solar power costs have yet to reach parity for the majority of users, as well as tax breaks and waivers for all consumers.

viii. Foster a robust investment climate that allows for a variety of financial models, ranging from self-owned (CAPEX) to third-party owned (RESCO). Access to loans at preferential interest rates can also be facilitated through various schemes that may be introduced from time to time, whether through public or private channels.

ix. Create a policy implementation, monitoring, and compliance framework to ensure that the policy is executed efficiently and that it is reviewed on a regular basis.

x. Develop solar energy as part of an overall strategy to provide all citizens with affordable, reliable power 24 hours a day, seven days a week, incorporating demand-side management, energy conservation, energy efficiency initiatives, project quality assurance and longevity, distributed renewable energy generation, and smart grid development.


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