So­lar cells on your ter­race

Will Haryana’s new pol­icy meet its ob­jec­tive or is it too am­bi­tious?

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Van­dana Ram­nani

The Haryana gov­ern­ment has made it 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, g roup hous­ing so­ci­eties, builder apart­ments, malls, of­fices, com­mer­cial com­plexes, schools, hos­pi­tals — any build­ing, new or old, that meets the plot size cri­te­ria.

The gov­ern­ment will of­fer a 30% sub­sidy on in­stal­la­tion costs on “a first- come- first- served” ba­sis.

Gur­gaon res­i­dents and en­vi­ron­ment ex­perts are doubt­ful if the ini­tia­tive will help re­alise the ob­jec­tive. The Haryana gov­ern­ment in the past has made sim­i­lar pro­vi­sions manda­tory such as wa­ter har­vest­ing, so­lar wa­ter heat­ing, CFL etc but not much was achieved.

Chetan Agar­wal, an en­vi­ron­ment an­a­lyst is of the view that while the pol­icy is good, it is an am­bi­tious one. “A lot of work needs to be done to de­velop an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for pro­mot­ing so­lar en­ergy in an ef­fec­tive man­ner.”

Section 2.3 of the pol­icy clearly states that “This pol­icy en­deav­ours to cre­ate an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment to at­tract pub­lic and private in­vest­ments in so­lar power gen­er­a­tion and also in cre­at­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties for sys­tem/de­vices/ com­po­nents used in so­lar power gen­er­a­tion in the state. “

A lot of work needs to be done to at­tract in­vest­ment and cre­ate a sup­ply of high qual­ity equip­ment for in­stal­la­tion. In ad­di­tion, an en­tire ecosys­tem of ven­dors who can sup­ply the equip­ment and also man­age the gen­er­a­tion, do the main­te­nance etc, needs to be spruced up, Agar­wal says.

Section 6-7 of the pol­icy talks about roof top grid in­ter­ac­tive sys­tems and men­tions three cat­e­gories that in­clude clus­ter of rooftops of pub­lic build­ings, clus­ter of private build­ings in cities and rooftops of in­di­vid­ual build­ings.

The clus­ter approach is likely to be a bet­ter op­tion as it will pro­vide economies of scale for in­vest­ment, for in­stal­la­tion, and most im­por­tantly for main­te­nance. And in­di­vid­ual prop­erty own­ers will get a roof rent, rather than the fi­nan­cial and main­te­nance bur­den, Agar­wal says, adding that the fo­cus ought to be on the clus­ter approach than on the in­di­vid­ual build­ing approach.


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