Rooftop solar leader Gujarat gets maximum central financial support for RE generation

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Gujarat—which leads in rooftop solar capacity with 430.24 MW installed till January 31—is way ahead among all states and union territories in getting the central financial assistance (CFA) for new and renewable energy generation.

In the current financial year 2019-20 till February 10, the state has bagged Rs 118.27 crore in central financial assistance, which is more than double the amount for its closest competitor Maharashtra (Rs 52.88 crore). Among other Top 5 are Uttar Pradesh (Rs 51.71 crore), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 30.48 crore) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 29.02 crore), as per the data shared by power and renewable energy minister R.K. Singh in Parliament recently.

Most of the utility-scale grid-connected solar and wind energy projects in the country are being implemented by the private sector developers selected through transparent and competitive bidding process.

However, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) provides central financial assistance for setting up of rooftop solar power plants, canal top solar plants, solar parks, decentralized/off-grid solar systems including home lighting system, solar street lighting, standalone solar powered agricultural pumps, small hydro power plants, biomass power plants, transmission infrastructure under Green Energy Corridor program, biogas plants, etc.

Significantly, Gujarat, under its ambitious rooftop solar scheme The Surya Gujarat Yojana, plans to cover 2 lakh residential consumers by 2019-20 and about 8 lakh consumers by 2021-22.

For rooftop solar, the state budget for year 2020-21 has provided Rs 912 crore in subsidy under Surya Gujarat Yojana—which gives residential consumers 40% subsidy on the stipulated cost of the solar system up to 3 KW and 20% subsidy for more than 3 KW and up to 10 KW capacity. The surplus electricity generated can be sold to related Discom at a rate of Rs 2.25 per unit.

For farmers, the budget has total provision of Rs 125 crore under Pradhan Mantri KUSUM Yojana to solarize 18,500 grid-connected pumps and for standalone offgrid solar power agriculture pumps.

The Gujarat government also plans to install solar-energy based hot water systems at government schools, government circuit houses and pilgrim places.