September 21, 2020 Read More →

New India rules raise concern for country’s solar rooftop sector

EQ Magazine:

The government of India has proposed a new set of rules for electricity consumers in the country. Among the notable ones proposed are fixing automatic compensation to consumers for delayed service and regulations for grid-interactive solar rooftop systems – a proposal that has raised concerns for the solar rooftop sector in the country.

The draft Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020 which were unveiled by Union Ministry of Power on September 9 stated that the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERC) shall come out with “regulations on grid-interactive rooftop solar PV (photovoltaic) system” and its related matters with timelines within six months of notification of these rules in case the same has not been notified.

The draft rules said these regulations shall provide for “net metering for loads up to five kW (kilowatt) and for gross metering for loads above five KW.” The ministry has sought comments and views from all stakeholders by September 30.

Vibhuti Garg, energy economist with the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), welcomed the focus on the solar rooftop. “Promotion of solar rooftop is also very positive. However, the issue of the net and gross metering needs to be properly evaluated,” Garg told Mongabay-India.

Meanwhile, the draft rules said that renewable energy units may also be set up on other parts of the premises of the prosumers, apart from the roof. However, the total generation capacity of the renewable unit shall not exceed the limit as prescribed by the SERCs. Prosumer means a person which consumes electricity from the grid and can also inject electricity into the grid using the same point of connection. It also said the power distribution companies shall pass on the financial incentives to the prosumers as may be provided under various schemes and programmes of the central and state government.

[Anand Gupta]

More: Proposed Rules for Power Consumers Could Hurt Solar Rooftop Sector

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