The parliamentary panel has called on the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) to increase its energy efficiency under the CPSU solar project projects and to take practical steps to encourage greater participation in these sectors.

MNRE is implementing a program to establish grid-enabled PV power projects through the central public sector undertakings (CPSUs) and government agencies with Viability Gap Funding (VGF).

According to each scheme, these projects are implemented with solar cells and home-produced modules.

“Objectives under the grid project to establish grid-connected power projects connected to CPSU and government agencies should be expanded.

“With only a handful of CPSUs participating in the program to date, the Department must take proactive steps and encourage more CPSUs / government agencies to participate in this process,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy in its 17th report presented to Parliament earlier this month.

By providing VGF under this program, MNRE explained that the VGF provided under this program aims to cover the cost difference between internally produced PV cells and modules and those imported.

MNRE also submitted that under CPSU Scheme Phase-II, there is no idea of ​​quotation rates and tenders are required to quote VGF, the maximum allowable limit of Rs 70 lakh / MW.

Under Phase I of the 1000 MW plan, nine CPSUs participated. These are NTPC, BHEL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, NHPC, ONGC, GAIL, Scooters India, Dadra & Nagar Haveli Power Distribution Corporation, and NLC India.

Under CPSU Scheme Phase-II of 12000 MW, seven CPSUs / government agencies have participated so far. These are NHDC, Singareni Collieries Company, Assam Power Distribution Company, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, Nalanda University, NTPC, and Indore Municipal Corporation.

The Panel also noted that the goal of the solar system cannot be achieved without proper implementation of the Net / Gross Metering and there is a need to maintain consistency in terms of the regulations/process of operating the model/sites integrated online etc.

It is important that all Government / Joint Electricity Regulatory Commissions issue regulations on metering net/order rates but there are no similarities.

Note that in many regions and areas of the Union, there are no proper payment methods for the extra units sent to the grid, and the same is changed in the electricity bill itself.

After reviewing the pros and cons of both arrangements, the department should ensure the proper implementation of the Net / Gross Metering programs in the country in consultation with all stakeholders so that both distributing companies (DISCOMs) and consumers can find the right agreement, it suggests.

The panel found that the goals set in relation to the overcrowded solar roof were unreasonable compared to real success.

What is worse is that from 2015-16, to date, the department has not been able to exceed the number of 500 MW of solar panels in any year even though the additional and unreasonable exaggeration of 17000 MW has been set to be achieved in just nine years by 2022-23 months. (April to 31 December 2022).

The committee suggested that due to the department’s performance in the sector to date, a solar roof on the 40GW roof in 2022 is almost unavailable at the current development pace.

The panel noted that with the assistance provided by MNRE, only 1948 MW of solar roof can be installed for more than five years (from April 1, 2015, to June 30, 2020).

Phase II of the grid-connected roofing system was adopted in February 2019 with the aim of achieving a 40,000 MW collection capacity from Rooftop Solar (RTS) projects by 2022.

However, the panel noted that compared to the annual target of 3000 MW, only 472 MW can be achieved in 2019-20, while higher targets are set for the following years 2020-21; 2021-22, and 2022-23 (as of December 31, 2022) equivalent to 6000 MW, 12000 MW, and 17000 MW, respectively.

It suggested that MNRE should advertise the benefits of having a solar roof system and the same incentives provided by the government in all indigenous and technical publications for distribution to the public.

It also suggested that a single Window Cleaning Program be installed, in the first phase, at all regional headquarters in the country to provide all assistance/services/information to customers and enable them to access the installation of a solar roof system – free of charge.

The panel is of the view that the subsidy payment process should be made transparent, simpler, and faster with a Single Window Removal System and preferably a digital platform for this purpose to reduce human interaction in the process.

It suggested that the department consider looking at funding from a fundraising process with the aim of providing higher subsidies to small group customers.

The Department needs to put in place a timely plan for all provinces and the Union Areas where a solar roof system will be installed that works in all government buildings, he added.

Source: Business Standard