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Green energy target tough, say officials

Green energy target tough, say officials

It is unlikely that the government will achieve its much-publicized target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, according to the ministry of new and renewable energy.

The government had announced a target of 40GW for rooftop solar power by 2022, but by December 2016 only 1.3 GW was achieved. This is a little more than 3 percent of the target.

This is primarily because the roof top solar power generation is making poor progress. The ministry is also contemplating enhanced contribution from other sources, which include biogas and small hydropower to make up for the shortfall.

Though experts point out that the potential from small hydropower projects is largely notional, as challenges which include difficult terrain will enhance the final tariff cost.

Various issues with rooftop solar power:

  • The existing tariff structure is not remunerative for people to setup rooftop solar power, as the installation cost is higher than the returns
  • Other hindrances to the use of roofs for installing solar panels include, the use of roofs for alternate uses such as drying clothes or hosting parties. In certain parts of the country people even sleep on the roofs. So, they do not want to cover the entire roof with solar panels

Challenges of rooftop solar power projects:

  • Lack of financial institutions that aggregate demand across a disparate set of projects
  • De-risking of investment for rooftop solar power. While de-risking has been done for commercial projects it is yet to be done for rooftop solar projects
  • There is a lack of regulatory clarity on net metering payments from utilities

Steps that should be taken to incentivize rooftop solar power:

  • Specific policy incentives that include implementation of effective net metering
  • Offering incentives to attract financial investors need to be introduced
  • Specific policy guidelines should be formulated to de-risk investment for rooftop solar power
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