The Eco­nomics of RTPVs

Consumer Voice - - Feature -

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.

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