Solar Mandatory for Bldgs in Haryana. Will it Work?

The Haryana government recently announced that it will be mandatory for all buildings on plot size of 500 square yards or more to install rooftop solar power systems by September 2015.
The order will be applicable to private bungalows, group housing societies, builder apartments, malls, offices, commercial complexes, schools, hospitals — any building, new or old, that meets the plot size criteria.

The government had offered a 30% subsidy on installation costs on “a first-come-first-served” basis. This subsidy may now be reduced to 15%, as per the latest reports, based on the announcements from MNRE.

The minimum solar power capacity to be installed is 1 kilo Watt or 5% of a building’s connected load, whichever is higher. Failure to install the solar panels by September would attract penalties between Rs 10,000 and Rs 10 lakh, officials said.

Meanwhile, the State is also working out the modalities of connecting rooftop panels with the power grid, through the net-metering system.

So what does it mean for India’s Solar Industry?

From outside, this seems to be good news for India’s solar industry; creating a new market for the industry.

Some points to be noted:
1. Does the State think that such a short term push will help develop the solar infrastructure in the State? This short deadline may also encourage fly-by-night operators. Maybe the State could have prepared a list of authorized solar vendors/epc/installers; keeping a kind of confidence to the customers.

2. 15%-30% subsidy sounds good on paper. On the ground, it will just add another paper-work and admin burden on either the end user or the installer [Either the end user will apply for subsidy themselves or the installer will take on itself the task of applying for subsidy]. Also the “first-cum-first serve” basis may only add to unethical practices.

If the end-customer has to take the responsibility of the subsidy; then it will create a new market for agents/in-between players who will assist these solar owners to get subsidy from the government.

The State can also look at direct tax incentives for solar installations.

3. Net-metering clause will also bring in other challenges. Rate at which discoms buy additional power needs to be analysed. Also to solve technical challenges, the State could have initiated net-metering demo projects on government buildings.

4. The State is looking at a target of 50MW. But pushing such targets or clauses on the end -customer makes me little uncomfortable. Yes, the policy can make it mandatory for new buildings or government buildings, but then pushing private companies/families into this suddenly can create an uncomfortable environment.

5. What steps are to be taken if there is not enough space to put the solar plant in the building? What happens when the solar plant is not feasible for that particular building?

For now, an education drive will be useful to help people understand the process of buying/installing a solar power plant.

This also shows how important is energy security for States. We may see more such push from other State Governments. But I hope it is better planned and implemented.

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9 Responses to Solar Mandatory for Bldgs in Haryana. Will it Work?

  1. Lawrence Coomber says:

    Will it work? No.
    Bharat this is a fantasy playing out in meaningless government rhetoric. It will be proven to be of no substance whatsoever. Not only are there many technical reasons why this is an untenable undertaking [based on world’s best Solar PV practices and standards]; but an equally illuminating clue is this point you mentioned: “The government had offered a 30% subsidy on installation costs on “a first-come-first-served” basis. This subsidy may now be reduced to 15%, as per the latest reports, based on the announcements from MNRE.” This does not sound like well developed; stable; and implementable policy to me. I have seen this policy on the run and “shooting from the hip” stuff many times around the world over the last 5 years now. The unsuspecting tax payer is being fed a furphy again, this time in Haryana. Can we revisit this subject in 6 months please Bharat to discuss the progress of the scheme. I would enjoy being proven wrong, but financial realities are the final determinants and they far out way political posturing and fanciful rhetoric in the energy technology sector at least.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lawrence Coomber,

      Thank You for visiting the blog and putting down your thoughts.

      Yes there will be many technical challenges as well. I am not very well versed with solar’s technical side but I am sure there will be challenges on the ground.

      It is certainly a good idea to revisit this subject in few months time and see the progress being made.

      Like

  2. Girish Narang says:

    The biggest farce of government is that without putting a deadline on net metering to the discoms, they are putting a deadline on consumers to install solar power. Equally, there must be a deadline to process subsidy application by the government department, if they truly wish to implement this. This dichotomy of Haryana government will only make solar power an evil in the eyes of consumers, though it can be a wonderful thing if combined with net metering.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Girish Narang,

      Thank you for visiting the blog and putting down your thoughts.

      Yes, the deadline clause can work against the very notion of making people adopt solar happily; thereby increasing the B2C market for solar in India.

      I was of the opinion of try net-metering for few months on government buildings so that the technical challenges can be solved before putting this concept in front of the common man.

      Like

  3. Amitabh says:

    who will certify compliance?

    Like

  4. Ankit Pandey says:

    Hi Bharat.

    I would like to get more details on this order of the government. I checked the website but was not able to get hold of any notice. Could you provide a specific link to the same please?
    Further I have two questions:
    1. If I as a land owner of a Medical institution want to be a part o this scheme, who should I contact? Should I get in touch with the ministry or should I contact the companies providing such solutions?

    2. If I as a provider of Solar solutions want to utilise this opportunity to expand my business, who should I contact? Should I get in touch with the Ministry or should it be individuals who require it installed?

    Like

    • Hello Ankit,

      Apologies for the delay in replying. I guess I missed this message completely.

      You may need to get in touch with solar companies. You may want to talk to a few of them and compare who gives better LCOE[Levelized Cost of Energy] and not just better rates. Please ask companies to give them proposal in terms of generation, cost per unit of power and maintenance.

      If you require a larger kw /mw size, then we know of investors who can install the solar plant with its own capital. The institution then pays for per unit generated from the system; without investing the capital.

      As a solar provider, you may want to get your company rated/recognized by the State Government; if such a scheme is available. Then you can approach potential clients across the state.

      Like

  5. Lawrence Coomber says:

    Ankit my professional and experienced view is that any further time you spend researching this ill-considered Haryana Government idea will surely be wasted. There are plenty of meaningful; realistic and practical opportunities for you to further develop your business in the renewable energy sector without wasting your time on the “rhetorical fringes of the renewable energy sector” dabbling in meaningless discussions; which this one is.
    Lawrence Coomber

    Like

  6. Arun Sharma says:

    Hi..
    The biggest farce of the government, without time limit discoms net metering, they take consumers deadline for the installation of solar power. Similarly, it should be a time limit for processing applications for grants of the Ministry if you want to be in this area. This gap Haryana government just to make solar power is bad in the eyes of consumers, even though it might be a good idea if, with net metering.and I would enjoy being proven wrong, but financial realities are the final determinants and they far out way political posturing and fanciful rhetoric in the energy technology sector at least.

    Like

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