Government of India Initiates off-grid and decentralised solar PV applications programme – India’s Ministry of new and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is going new horizons with its off-grid and decentralised solar PV applications programme, as another step in its National Solar Mission (NSM), to utilize the Solar power as a Cleaner source of energy in comparison to Carbon emitting fossil fuels energy sources. MNRE is about to execute the “Off-Grid and Decentralized Solar Applications” scheme to endorse the usage of solar energy in home lighting, street lighting, in power plants, solar pumps and many other areas around the rural vicinity of the country, where most of the people stay without any access to electricity. Moreover, The scheme also includes highlighting Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technology. To further endorse the usage of solar energy in these areas, MNRE is providing a subsidy of 30% to the total cost of installing the system.
The Scheme carries the following Objectives:
– Supporting the off-grid applications of Solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems in order to meet the lighting, electricity necessities of people, organization, society, Official and Commercial establishments
-To generate more knowledge and awareness amongst people for using Solar energy and solar systems instead of Fossil fuels based energy resources.
-To Motivate usage of Modern techniques as per the current market standards, market needs and Endorsing Long lasting business models for Solar energy usage.
-To Help and support all the channel partners and people who are associated with the implementation of this programme in planning, developing and execution of their Plans in the interest of the programme.
-Creating a pattern shift for the commercialization purpose of off-grid decentralized solar applications.
-To help and assist every miscellaneous activity in regards to the scheme implementation i.e consultancy services, Meetings, awareness campaigns, human resource development and so on.
-To provide a better and cleaner alternative to kerosene, diesel, electricity and other fuels when and wherever required with full effect.
The scope of the Scheme:
The Scheme is applicable to all Zones within the Indian territory with following implications:
-Access to the clean source of energy
-Replacing Fossil fuels as Energy source
-Promoting the use of Solar energy in Agriculture i.e Solar Pumps
-Supporting and assisting Renewable Energy Service companies (RESCOs)
-Making All the solar products readily available in the market free of charge
A process of availing subsidy from SECI
Tenders have been rolled on by SECI in the chronological mode for the purpose of installing rooftop Solar PV systems in various cities and states in India. SECI is also offering 15% of subsidy to the selected companies once the bids would be evaluated. The Firms are then required to convey the subsidy benefits to the end users. Moreover, Rooftop owners and consumers can directly contact the companies for the installation of rooftop PV systems on their residence.
The Biggest benefit of this scheme would surely be minimized electricity bills. It doesn’t matter whether your setup is small in size or not, the difference in the electricity bill would be visible from the first day itself.
While there is no foundation on the installation of the number of solar panels in your area, With a large enough installation, you can lower down your Electricity bill completely. If we talk about people in the USA, they are already paying 0 for electricity for their Solar panels setup.
Your electricity bill savings are about to grow with time as even if the electricity rates increases, the power from the sun would stay free forever. Solar energy panel installation is a great investment in the longer run. Therefore, the scheme would benefit a huge population at large.
While India is a country where Solar power is found in abundance, and also won’t be emitting any carbon pollutants, it is very much a success if implemented with better planning and execution.
While the benefits are huge around this scheme, there is certain challenges upfront while installing Solar panels across the country:
- Solar energy can’t be generated in the night time which could be regarded as a big downside of the scheme.
- Even in the daytime, if it’s cloudy or the weather isn’t good, the solar energy can’t be taken as a reliable source of energy at that point in time. Moreover, in the areas which receive heavy rainfall or low temperatures around the year without any sunlight, this scheme doesn’t stay feasible in a full manner.
- Only areas which get the good amount of solar energy can be termed feasible for installation of such projects. therefore, hilly areas or areas with low or minimal sunshine would largely stay un-impacted with the benefits of this scheme.
- The Cost-effective nature of the solar panel goes for a toss in the case where Inverters and storage batteries are needed to convert direct electricity to alternating electricity in the solar panels in order to generate electricity. Solar panel installation is cheap, while installation of other equipment is expensive.
- A solar plant requires big space and while that plant gets installed in the same area, it can’t be used for any other purpose for the next few years. There can’t be any occupational or agricultural activity in the same zone for many coming years or maybe decades.
- Solar energy can’t compensate for rising power demands in the country as the amount of energy produced in a solar panel is quite low s compared to other sources. Therefore we can’t replace the use of Solar energy completely with regards to other fossil fuels based energy.
As solar panels are brittle and require extra care and maintenance, Extra costs along with expenses will be there for the same. Therefore the amount spent on its maintenance and other charges would come as a headache to those who cant afford all those expenses.
Off-Grid and Decentralised Solar PV Applications Programme PDF
Some Important Links
The Scheme empowers all the states and their subsidiaries to implement a clean and free source of energy for their people. Though the implementation is a bit challenging citing the geographical and economic factors, the step shall be welcomed in order to take this world towards a greener and cleaner future. Still, it would be interesting to see how it would bring bigger benefits to the Indian people and their power demands.