The Economics of RTPVs
On the part of the government, aggressive efforts have to be made to educate consumers on the economics of adapting RTPV. The government needs to devise a special window to facilitate the signing of contracts for installing RTPV and reimbursing the subsidy to prevent bureaucratic hassles. The government will also have to train technicians to install RTPVs and encourage smallscale entrepreneurs to get into the business of installing RTPVs.
The way the regulatory commission has computed the tariff for RTPVs, there is no incen-tive for distribution companies to promote solar energy. The only stick the government has with the distribution companies is that they need to have at least some minimum percentage of their power supply from renewables. If they can meet it by buying from utility-scale solar energy generators, they need not secure it from RTPVs. The government should look into this and come up with a strategy to incentivise DISCOMs to promote RTPVs.
Compute Your Savings
Overall, the economics suggest that homeowners should seriously consider installing RTPVs. The average house with 8 LED lighting units, 3 fans, 1 refrigerator, 1 TV, 1 computer, and 3 charging points only needs 2 kWp PV capacity. After subsidy such an investment will cost about Rs 1.3 lakh to Rs. 1.8 lakh.
If you are in Karnataka, you will be able to save about Rs 1,400 per month, getting a return of nearly 12 per cent. This saving is computed on the assumption that every month 232 kWh of power is produced and feed-in tariff fixed by KERC is Rs 6.03/kWh. Maintenance is negligible as one just needs to wipe panels with a wet cloth once in 15 days. The battery cost, which is between Rs 20, 000 and Rs 30,000 and has to be incurred every four to five years, has also been considered while making the overall savings estimates.
Interestingly, In Tamil Nadu, residential consumers can get about 20 per cent state subsidy, which makes it all the more viable for people there to go solar. The future surely looks promising and individuals with vacant rooftops must not think twice before investing in creating power of their own.