10 April, 2021

Sipping Watts From Sunrays

Teething problems on the ground and in rulebooks hurt the ambitious plan to harness solar power for 40,000 MW

Solar panels on the roof of a Bangalore housing society
Photograph by Getty Images
Sipping Watts From Sunrays

The Central government is on a look-out for roofs, not to shelter the homeless, but to harness the abundant beneficence of our nearest star—the sun—for generating clean power. A shor­tage of land to set up solar power farms is behind this major effort. Earlier this month, the Centre unv­eiled plans to tap rooftops of govern­ment buildings, private institutions, industries and residential buildings to add an additional 40,000 megawatts (MW) by 2022. Out of this, a target of 4,000 MW solar power is set for residential rooftops with financial assistance of around Rs 6,600 crore.

As a push towards that ambitious goal, several attractive schemes are being offered by the Centre as well as some states. Banks, too, are coming forward with consumer loans for residential customers. In many ways, these customers face several challenges. Lack of awareness of the benefits is one of them.

Considering this, it won’t be easy to achieve the target by 2022—rooftops, too, are not readily available and residence owners may not be in a position to...

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