At the official launch of the 10,000 rooftop PV programme today, the Minister for Power for Kerala, Mr. Aryadan Muhammed announced the intention to expand the programme to 75,000 rooftop programme very soon. Of this, 25,000 PV systems will be grid tied systems on the government buildings, while another 50,000 PV systems will be off-grid systems on residential buildings. He said that the state had a demand of 55 Million Units of electricity(kWh) per day, but the generation was only 5 Million Units. About 25 Million Units were purchased from other states and the gap had to be managed through load shedding and power cuts.
Earlier, the Chief Minister of Kerala, Mr. Oommen Chandy, highlighted the fact that Kerala is a state highly dependent on hydel power and due to the failure of monsoon this year, there is not enough water to produce power to meet the demand. He said that many of the new hydel as well as thermal plants proposed in the state were either shelved or faced enormous delays due to lack of environmental clearances. Due to these reasons, the state, which was once a surplus power state, had to buy power at extremely high rates from other states or exchanges. But the high purchase cost of power cannot be passed on to the end consumer and has to be absorbed by the KSEB(Kerala State Electricity Board), which leads to huge losses by the KSEB. He said that this situation is not sustainable, and if everyone needs power, the only possible solution is to adopt solar on a massive scale, at every home.
Dr. M. Jayaraju, Director of ANERT highlighted the decentral approach taken by Kerala toward the generation of solar power. He explained the programme in detail and described the role of the empaneled installers in the success of the programme(details about the installers is available here).
Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who officially launched the programme, said that the only way to become self sufficient in energy is to harness the renewable energy abundantly available to all of us. The Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE), was also present.
I could see quite a few of the empaneled installers at the event. Some of them were Tata Power Solar, Su-kam, Luminous, Power-One, Ammini Solar, Gensol and Chemtrols. Some of them had their own employees, whereas most of the others had already built a network of dealers who will do the installation. One of the installers I spoke to said that they were pleasantly surprised at the interest shown by some of the rooftop PV applicants. They were quite well informed, and were willing to invest in the solar PV system. Some of them even were interested in scaling up the system, if the first 1 kWp system worked really well.
Overall, I was glad to see the enthusiasm among every stakeholder at the official launch. Let us hope that this is a start of new solar revolution in the rooftop segment.
We at RESolve are glad to announce to our readers that RESolve is the knowledge partner for a renewable energy event “Save Power Show”, promoted by ANERT(Agency for Non-Conventional and Rural Technologies) – the nodal agency for solar power in Kerala. The show takes place in Kochi during the period 2-4 March 2013. More details are available here.
PS: Related posts from Economic Times and PV-Magazine can be found here and here.
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