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Web Exclusive | March 2013

Rooftop solar programme needs utmost care: Experts

Experts warn that if the rooftop solar programme in Kerala might fail, if it is not implemented with utmost care. It is pointed out that for a mass project which has no parallels in Kerala in terms of technology integration, a failure at the grassroots level will be counterproductive in the long-term. The pilot project, envisaged to provide off-grid power of one kilowatt each to 10,000 households, comes with a subsidy of about Rs.92,000 to each beneficiary.

The project, intended to produce 10 mw power in total, is being implemented through Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (Anert). The consumer has to register with Anert to be eligible for the subsidy comprising Rs 81,000 from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and Rs.39,000 from Anert.

The beneficiary will incur a cost of Rs 2 - 2.5 lakh or more, including subsidy element. Fourteen agencies have been empanelled by Anert for the consumer to choose from in order to undertake the installation across the State. Out of this, 13 belong to other States, but have associates and dealers in Kerala.

The arrangement has potential for trouble, says Georgekutty. K, who owns Lifeway Solar, an enterprise in the solar photovoltaic sector and has set up solar power generation systems in Ernakulam.

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