Session on Grid Connected Solar Power with Special Emphasis on Rooftop, RE-INVEST 2015

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Monday, 16 February 2015 - The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy organised the First Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo (RE-INVEST) from 15-17 February, 2015 in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 15th February, 2015. 

Government of India aims to achieve 100 GW grid connected solar power by 2022 with 40 GW from rooftop solar segment and the timely placed session on “Grid Connected Solar Power with special emphasis on rooftop”, focussed on strategies and recommendations by the eminent researchers and industry experts from international and domestic solar segment. The session was organised in partnership with GIZ and KfW with support from TERI.

The session was moderated by Mr Thorsten Herdan, Directorate-General II Energy Policy, Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Germany. In his message, Mr. Herdan highlighted that Germany has connected the first solar power plant with the grid at a feed-in tariff of 35 Rs/kWh. However, considering irradiation levels in India, the feed-in tariff shall be much lower as compared to Germany. Mr Herdan emphasised that with support from the private sector as well as financial institutions, the target foreseen by India shall be achievable.

Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, presented the plan of MNRE for achieving the envisaged targets. He also assured support from MNRE in creating the infrastructure necessary for easy implementation of solar power projects in the country.

As financing of projects is highly crucial for achieving the targets, Ms Claudia Arce, Director of South Asia, KfW Development Bank highlighted the importance of strengthening evacuation infrastructure for realising targets for large scale as well as rooftop solar projects, off-take assurance as well as payment security. In her supportive remarks she also mentioned that rooftop solar projects aim at avoiding network losses, creation of employment and unlike year on year increase of the electricity tariff from the grid, the consumer can generate and consume electricity at fixed rate for the life of the plant.

To bring in the developer experience, Mr. Vineet Mittal, Vice Chairman, Welspun Renewables committed to achieving the targets in a timely manner. Enterprise sensitiveness towards society will be one of the many reasons of becoming successful in Indian solar sector. Welspun Renewable has experience of investing and operating more than 600 MW in India.

Mr. Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Head of Energy Policy, Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy, Germany highlighted that it is not only important to have large capacities of solar power installed in the country but also very important to see that the equipment used, and the workmanship are of best quality. He added that India should strengthen its quality infrastructure to achieve the best possible yield from the solar capacities installed. To do this, adherence to minimum quality standards is essential and the Government should consider strengthening scientific test centre, standards and certification for equipment. As a recommendation, he highlighted that there should be certification scheme for products and installers for rooftop solar segment and dedicated monitoring for large scale solar power segment.

Mr. S.K Soonee, CEO Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) described the plans to prepare the grid infrastructure to accommodate large scale capacities of renewables. It shall be highly crucial to upscale the installed capacity from close to 3,000 MW to 1,00,000 MW by 2022 and under these circumstances the storage of electricity shall be of high importance.

Further, three panellists including Mr Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Power Projects Pvt Ltd, Mr João Teixeira Wahnon, Director, Magpower – Soluções de Energia, SA and Mr Vatsal Bhatt, US Green Building Council suggested the possibility of exploring different business models and financing schemes for promotion of rooftop solar segment. The session ended with an interactive discussion between the panellists and the audience. 

Mr Timon Herog, Principal Advisor, GIZ presented vote of thanks to the panellist and participants.

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