November 29, 2022

  • Odisha has the best put in capability of renewable vitality within the jap India area. Rooftop photo voltaic internet metering methods at the moment are rising within the state however there are a number of challenges stopping development.
  • Grid linked photo voltaic rooftops, which use internet meters, are incentivised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Power (MNRE) however are but to achieve traction in Odisha.
  • Low consciousness, lack of coverage readability and delays in set up and subsidies are a few of the causes that this programme, which is supposed to spice up clear vitality development, is but to turn into fashionable within the coastal Indian state.

Rairangpur is a metropolis within the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, which just lately got here into the limelight when Droupadi Murmu, who hails from the town, was elected because the 15th President of India. Whereas Murmu took the pioneering step as the primary individual from the tribal neighborhood changing into the President within the nationwide capital, again at Rairangpur one other pioneering step was being taken – on the renewable vitality entrance. In July this 12 months, Rairangpur’s first on-grid residential photo voltaic rooftop, with a internet meter, was put in. This setup permits its buyer to turn into a prosumer, which implies they produce photo voltaic vitality for his or her captive wants and in addition export the surplus vitality to the electrical energy grid. 

Internet meters seek advice from the electrical energy meters put in on the premises of photo voltaic shoppers whose photo voltaic panels are linked to the electrical energy grid of their space. The electrical energy shoppers who use internet meters are referred to as as “prosumers” as they produce photo voltaic electrical energy and in addition eat their very own electrical energy apart from utilising the grid vitality in case the photo voltaic vitality they produce falls in need of their energy wants. Their month-to-month electrical energy invoice is calculated as the whole electrical energy consumed by them with the whole photo voltaic electrical energy exported by them deducted. As they produce and export vitality, the photo voltaic prosumers often find yourself with decrease electrical energy payments in comparison with households utilizing solely standard vitality from the grid.

The photo voltaic vitality distributors within the state who put in the on-grid photo voltaic rooftop in Rairangpur stated that the idea is pretty new within the smaller cities of Odisha. “In Rairangpur and lots of smaller cities of Odisha the expansion of photo voltaic on-grid methods that are linked with internet meters are very new and never seen quickly. So far as this metropolis is anxious, we see some off-grid photo voltaic methods right here however just lately we put in the primary residential net-metered photo voltaic rooftop within the metropolis,” Gaurav Pattanaik, Director of CRUX Energy instructed Mongabay-India.

Photo voltaic rooftop and internet metering but to achieve reputation in Odisha

These photo voltaic internet metering tasks come beneath the MNRE’s grid-connected Rooftop Photo voltaic (RTS) programme. Grid linked photo voltaic rooftops (which use internet meters) is incentivised beneath the Rooftop Photo voltaic (RTS-II) venture of the Ministry of New and Renewable Power (MNRE) which supplies subsidies upto 40 % to particular person households and residential house complexes that set up on-grid photo voltaic panels. Underneath the RTS-I, the state was capable of obtain set up of three.8 megawatt (MW) of photo voltaic vitality. Underneath RTS-I, the state renewable vitality companies have been the nodal company for such tasks whereas beneath RTS-II, the DISCOMs in state take up such tasks. 

Total, the photo voltaic rooftop and internet metering idea in Odisha is going through sure challenges – lack of knowledge, no robust coverage, delays on the energy distribution firm degree, amongst others – which have delayed the expansion of the expertise throughout the state.    

Photo voltaic vitality distributors say that photo voltaic net-metering is extra fashionable among the many industrial and industrial prospects who should not entitled to subsidies now. There are fewer takers among the many residential prospects regardless of the incentives equivalent to diminished electrical energy invoice and subsidies.

Using on-grid photo voltaic methods have helped many prosumers in Odisha cut back their energy payments. Photograph by Manish Kumar/Mongabay.

Sharthak Shankar Bhagat, Founding father of Whiteshark, one of many empanelled photo voltaic vitality builders based mostly in Bhubaneswar, instructed Mongabay-India, “The expertise is just not solely clear but in addition helps in decreasing the month-to-month electrical energy payments. However we discover extra curiosity within the expertise among the many industrial and industrial customers and fewer among the many residential ones.”

When requested concerning the challenges within the sector and fewer development within the state, he stated, “There are a number of points which have affected its development. There’s lack of knowledge not solely among the many energy shoppers, but in addition among the many distribution corporations (discoms) that are the nodal companies that obtain purposes for set up of such methods and in addition implement the setup with the assistance of photo voltaic vitality distributors. Though the timeline for set up of internet meters and photo voltaic panels has been diminished from 90 days to 30 days within the state by the discoms, in lots of circumstances they’re put in after 30 days. Such delays usually discourage prospects who’re wanting to go for this.”

Want for clear norms and coverage

Consultants working within the renewable vitality sector in Odisha claimed that the expansion of photo voltaic net-metering within the state suffers due to the dearth of clear reduce norms and Normal Working Protocols (SOP). Photo voltaic vitality stakeholders within the state have approached the Odisha Electrical energy Regulatory Fee (OERC), an autonomous regulator beneath the state which facilitates energy sector reform, urging it to work in the direction of making a roadmap and SOP on photo voltaic internet metering. 

The OERC, in a contemporary improvement, has taken on a case for issuing of SOP on internet metering suo motu and requested for public inputs. In its suo motu petition, the state fee famous that the state goals to spice up photo voltaic vitality as the specter of distribution losses in photo voltaic vitality is decrease in comparison with the losses in standard vitality, because the photo voltaic vitality is consumed domestically. OERC had  earlier issued  norms for the expansion of internet metering within the state. After a wider session, the OERC now plans to roll out an SOP on the difficulty to make sure quicker development of the photo voltaic net-metering expertise within the state. 

Chandrashekhar Mishra is the Chairman of the Photo voltaic Power Society of India (SESI)-Odisha Chapter. He instructed Mongabay-India, “The state nonetheless lacks an SOP on photo voltaic internet metering. It was by no means issued by the state vitality division or the involved discoms resulting in confusion on the identical amongst distributors and shoppers. It’s simply now that OERC has began engaged on that. There have been circumstances in Odisha of irregular metering for on-grid prospects. There have been circumstances the place shoppers obtained payments in 9-10 months. Delays in disbursement of subsidies put the distributors and shoppers at losses and uncertainty. Such acts on rooftop photo voltaic schemes have solely added belief deficit and that’s the reason not many distributors are additionally reluctant to affix palms with the discoms on net-metering,”

He additionally claimed that if the sector will get an impetus in rooftop photo voltaic within the state, it may additionally assist the state to realize its Renewable Buy Obligations (RPOs) simply. RPOs refers back to the necessary obligations of states/discoms to purchase a sure proportion of their complete vitality from renewable sources.

A photo voltaic rooftop at one residential complicated in Bhubaneswar. Photograph by Manish Kumar/Mongabay.

The vitality distribution in Odisha is taken care of by Tata Energy by means of totally different area sensible discoms like Tata Energy Central Odisha Distribution Restricted (TPCODL) and its unit in western, northern and southern areas. Two years in the past in 2020, it began taking up the reins of energy distribution within the state from the state-owned discoms.

The state renewable agency-Odisha Renewable Power Authority (OREDA) claimed that the entire enterprise of photo voltaic rooftop is now taken care of by discoms which have now bought revised targets for RTS by the MNRE. It nevertheless additionally admitted concerning the delay in subsidy to the shoppers. 

“The RTS scheme has helped many industrial and residential items to modify to wash vitality. Within the first part of RTS, a complete of 113 connections got and we added a complete of three.6 MW of photo voltaic vitality with rooftops. Within the second part every discom has been given the goal of producing 5MW of photo voltaic vitality beneath the RTS Section II. Nonetheless, the second part has simply began,” an official from OREDA instructed Mongabay-India, requesting anonymity. The official admitted that many shoppers who utilized for the subsidy beneath the scheme have to pursue the subsidy from MNRE which is a time-consuming course of and has turn into a deterrent for folks within the programme. 

Amid all these current challenges, some makes an attempt at the moment are additionally made on the central and state degree to expedite the expansion of rooftop photo voltaic. The Union authorities just lately launched a nationwide portal to obtain purposes for subsidised on-grid photo voltaic rooftops for residential buildings. Whiteshark’s Sarthak stated that even on the state-level the native DISCOM has began a web based utility with time sure set up assurance the place the shoppers are entitled to pay solely the actual quantity of set up after deducting the subsidy quantity which may also help the shoppers to sort out the difficulty of delayed receipt of subsidies.

Underneath the most recent MNRE norms on RTS-II (Section II), the residential shoppers are entitled to get a subsidy of 40 % for set up of photo voltaic rooftops on their buildings. The photo voltaic tariff within the state relies on the utilization slabs which begins from Rs 2 per unit with the height going upto 6.2 per unit. In accordance with the photo voltaic distributors within the state for putting in a 1 kilowatt photo voltaic rooftop, a residential buyer has to shell out round Rs 50,000.

Excessive tariff a deterrent

Along with the delay in set up of photo voltaic meter connections and delay in subsidy one other concern hampering the expansion of photo voltaic vitality within the state, declare energy consultants, is the tariff of photo voltaic vitality in Odisha which is without doubt one of the highest within the nation.

Anand Mohapatra is an influence analyst from the state. He instructed Mongabay-India, “There must be emphasis on inexperienced tariff for the shoppers who wish to go for photo voltaic vitality. Nonetheless, the issue in Odisha is that the photo voltaic tariff right here is among the many highest within the nation and above the nationwide common. This can be a deterrent for the expansion of photo voltaic vitality within the state.” 

On the regional degree, Odisha has the best put in capability of renewable vitality in the complete jap India area. In accordance with the Central Electrical energy Authority (CEA) knowledge, by the top of July 2022, the whole put in capability of energy within the state stands at 7648.05 MW of which a little bit over 8% – 626.98 MW – comes from renewable vitality sources. Majority of the clear vitality produced within the state comes from photo voltaic vitality as wind vitality remains to be a non-starter within the state as a consequence of low productiveness potential of wind vitality within the state. 

Banner Picture: Rooftop Photo voltaic in Surat, Gujarat. Consultant picture. Photograph by VD Images/Unsplash.

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