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Gujarat’s solar rooftop power spreads across Villages making policy successful

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    23rd Dec, 2022

Context

The implementation of Gujarat’s aggressive solar rooftop policy is slowly seeping into villages too, contributing to India’s solar mission of 2030.

About

About Gujarat’s plan:

  • Gujarat leads in residential rooftop solar installations— a segment that hasn’t quite taken off nationally despite India’s overall success with boosting solar power capacity.
  • Gujarat accounts for the lion’s share of all rooftop solar installations: About 63 per cent.
  • Progress:Since 2016, the Gujarat government has installed a total of 3, 91,830 residential rooftop solar panel systems.
    • The majority of these were installed over the past three years under the SURYA Gujarat Yojana.
      • Gujarat Development Authority is the governing agency of the Yojana.

India’s solar rooftop installation capacity:

An October 2022 study on India’s rooftop solar potential by the international think-tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and consultancy firm JMK Research found that the state’s focus on “digitalisation” — using digital media to communicate simplified and relevant information about the process can become a key driver in its success with rooftop solar.

Types of Solar power installations:

  • Rooftop installations
  • Floating Installations
  • Land Installations

Among all types of installations, rooftop solar panels are most comfortable for household generation of power.

India Solar Mission:

  • Starting from less than 10 MW in 2010, India has added significant solar PV capacity over the past decade, achieving over 50 GW by 2022.
  • By 2030, India is targeting about 500 GW of renewable energy deployment, out of which 280 GW is expected from solar PV. This necessitates the deployment of nearly 30 GW of solar capacity every year until 2030.
  • Starting from less than 10 MW in 2010, India has added significant solar PV capacity over the past decade, achieving over 50 GW by 2022.
  • By 2030, India is targeting about 500 GW of renewable energy deployment, out of which 280 GW is expected from solar PV. This necessitates the deployment of nearly 30 GW of solar capacity every year until 2030.

What makes Gujarat's rooftop solar panel policy a success?

  • Smooth policy execution
  • Good DISCOMS
  • Buy-in from people
  • Location:With its 1,600km long coastline and abundant wasteland in the form of the Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat has taken the lead in implementing the adoption of renewable energy through policy interventions.

The success story of Modhera

  • Gujarat’s Modhera is India’s first “fully solar-powered village”.
  • The Modhera model offers a blueprint for what being “fully solarised” might eventually look like — for both rooftop and other types of solar plants.
  • Modhera is the first village in India to rely on a system, called a grid-scale battery energy storage system (BESS), which is considered the future of truly renewable solar energy.

Challenges:

  • Dependence on Imports:Indian solar companies depend heavily on imports, as India presently does not have enough module and cell manufacturing capacity. The demand-supply gap gets widened as we move up the value chain.
  • Limited manufacturing capacity: India currently manufactures only 3.5 GW of solar cells and has a limited solar module manufacturing capacity of 15 GW.
  • Import of Raw Material Supply: The dependence is not restricted to silicon wafers. Raw materials like silver and aluminium metal pastes which are crucial for making electrical contacts are almost 100% imported.
  • Land Issues: Land, the most expensive part of solar projects, is scarce in India — and the Indian industry has no choice but to move towards newer and superior technologies as part of expansion plans.

Government Initiatives:

  • PLI scheme to Support Manufacturing: The Scheme has provisions for supporting the setting up of integrated manufacturing units of high-efficiency solar PV modules by providing a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) on sales of such solar PV modules.
  • Levying Custom Duties on the Import of Solar Cells & Modules: The Government has announced the imposition of Basic Customs Duty (BCD)on the import of solar PV cells and modules.
    • It includes a 40% duty on the importof modules and a 25% duty on the import of cells.
  • Domestic Content Requirement (DCR): Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-IIPM-KUSUM, and Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Programme Phase-II,wherein government subsidies are given, it has been mandated to source solar PV cells and modules from domestic sources.
    • It is mandatory to procure modules only from an approved list of manufacturers (ALMM) for projects that are connected to state/ central government grids; so far, only India-based manufacturers have been approved.
  • Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS): It's a scheme of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.
    • The scheme mainly provides a subsidy for capital expenditure on PV cells and modules 20% for investments in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and 25% in non-SEZ.
  • Solar Parks Scheme: The scheme facilitates and speeds up the installation of grid-connected solar power projects for electricity generation on a large scale. All the States and Union Territories are eligible for getting benefits under the scheme. The capacity of the solar parks shall be 500 MW and above.
  • Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme: A scheme for setting up 12 GW Grid- Connected Solar PV Power Projects by Central Public Sector Undertakings with domestic cells and modules is under implementation.

Verifying, please be patient.

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