Delhi govt’s aim: Meet 20% of power demand through solar by 2027 | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi govt’s aim: Meet 20% of power demand through solar by 2027

Jan 30, 2024 06:00 AM IST

Kejriwal said the objective is to triple the Capital’s installed solar power capacity from the current 1,500MW to 4,500MW in three years

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on Monday unveiled a new solar policy, rolling out larger incentives and subsidies for people to have solar power systems installed at their homes and businesses through which they will be able to save on electricity costs.

In 2016, the AAP-led Delhi government brought its first solar policy, which facilitated the deployment of over 250MW of rooftop solar plants across Delhi. (Representational image)
In 2016, the AAP-led Delhi government brought its first solar policy, which facilitated the deployment of over 250MW of rooftop solar plants across Delhi. (Representational image)

Announcing the policy, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the objective is to triple the Capital’s installed solar power capacity from the current 1,500MW – which includes 250MW from rooftop solar installations and 1,250MW from larger utility-scale solar power systems – to 4,500MW in three years.

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This will lead to the Capital meeting 20% of its electricity needs via solar power by March 2027, Kejriwal said.

At the core of the scheme is are two incentives.

One, a subsidy for people to install solar systems: the government will give a subsidy of 2,000 per kilowatt (KW) of the cost of the system. A typical 2KW solar installation costs around 90,000 which, with the subsidy, would come to 86,000. The subsidy has been capped at a maximum of 10,000.

Two, people will be paid 1-3 per unit of solar energy they generate. This will effectively help reduce people’s power bills.

Additionally, every unit of solar energy generated will cancel out a unit a person consumes from the power grid, effectively further reducing the power they consume from the discoms.

Such calculation is possible for people who install a net meter, which is a two-way meter to measure how much energy is drawn from or fed back from the grid. Typically, during the day, a home will feed back power to the grid, while drawing from it at night.

The CM explained that this will help bring more people within the zero power bill net, with their consumption cancelled out by what they generate and the additional 3 per unit that they will earn on the power they contribute.

Around 70% of Delhi’s residential consumers get a zero or subsidised electricity bill. A zero bill is when consumer use up fewer than 200 units a month, and a subsidised bill is when consumption lies between 201 and 400 units.

The policy has been cleared by the Delhi Cabinet. It will be notified by the power department soon, the government said, following which it shall be sent to lieutenant governor VK Saxena for a final stamp of approval.

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said the government will spend around 570 crore towards the implementation of the new solar policy, which will also make it mandatory for all government buildings with an area of more than 500sqm to install solar panels.

Power minister Atishi, who was also present at the press conference, said that the government also plans to rope in a third party to carry out the satellite imaging-based mapping of rooftop power potential in the city so that users are able to get an estimate about the potential on their rooftops.

HT reached out to BSES and Tata Power — the two discoms that supply electricity to Delhi — but both declined to comment on the new solar policy.

The officials did not clarify how many residential buildings have currently installed rooftop solar panels.

In 2016, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government brought its first solar policy, which facilitated the deployment of over 250MW of rooftop solar plants across Delhi, and around 1,250MW of utility-scale solar plants.

Through the new policy, power department officials said, the government aims to scale up the installation of rooftop solar panels to 750MW and increase the generation of power from utility-scale solar plants to 3,750 MW by March 2027.

“By installing a rooftop plant under the new policy, partially-subsidised and unsubsidized consumers too can get zero bills every month. In addition, they will get a monthly income through generation-based incentives,” an official said, asking not to be named.

According to Delhi government data, there are close to 5.8 million domestic power consumers in the Capital. In 2023, Delhi’s peak power demand clocked the season’s high of 7,438 MW on August 22, 2023.

The capital’s peak power demand on January 22, 2024 recorded an all-time high winter power demand, reaching 5,816 megawatts (MW). The government has said that solar power is 7.8% of annual average demand.

Responding to the new policy, BJP legislator and leader of the opposition in the Delhi assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said that Kejriwal’s announcement has nothing new in it, and state governments across the country are running similar schemes. “While the BJP was in power in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the administration encouraged putting up solar panels atop schools and zonal offices,” he added.

Bidhuri also accused Kejriwal of making misleading announcements. “The people of Delhi want to ask the chief minister — if they install solar panels at their homes, then why would they need to take his free electricity units? Instead of making misleading announcements, the Kejriwal government should announce at least a 50% subsidy on the cost of solar panels to residents willing to install it,” he said.

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