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MNRE Urges DISCOMs to Ease Rooftop Solar Application Process to Boost Infrastructure

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Monday, January 15, 2024, issued orders to ease the implementation and application process for the adoption of grid-connected rooftop solar energy.

Aysha Anam
MNRE Streamlines Rooftop Solar Application Process, Urges DISCOMs to Boost Infrastructure
MNRE Streamlines Rooftop Solar Application Process, Urges DISCOMs to Boost Infrastructure

In a bid to accelerate the adoption of grid-connected rooftop solar energy, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) issued directives to Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) on January 15, 2024, aimed at simplifying the implementation and application procedures.

Under the revised guidelines, applicants will now only need to furnish electricity bills from the past six months along with a project completion report, a snapshot of the rooftop solar installation, and a consumer-vendor agreement.

Project Completion Report Specifications:

- Details on the solar module and inverter specifications.
- Capacity in watts per module.
- Quantity of solar modules installed.

The MNRE has explicitly stated that DISCOMs and implementing agencies are prohibited from requesting any additional documentation. These reforms are initiated to streamline the installation process and ensure a hassle-free experience for consumers.

Furthermore, DISCOMs have been directed to maintain sufficient stock of smart meters or net meters to prevent delays in project commissioning. This move addresses previous challenges where DISCOMs did not support rooftop meters due to policy constraints and net metering complications.

The decreasing costs of rooftop systems have led to increased adoption, particularly among industrial and commercial entities in regions with high DISCOM tariffs. Notably, solar project installations have witnessed substantial growth, reaching 431 MW in 2023 compared to the previous 388 MW, marking a 34.7% increase. The majority of this surge is reported in residential areas.

MNRE's proactive approach includes a 23% subsidy for residential consumers, fostering a significant boost in installations. Consumers can choose their vendors independently, irrespective of DISCOMs' lists, and the subsidy amount is guaranteed within 30 days of installation. The allotted period for net metering has been streamlined to 15 days, promoting efficiency in the overall process.

Looking ahead, MNRE has set an ambitious target of installing 500 GW of rooftop solar projects by 2030, reflecting the government's commitment to sustainable energy solutions. These initiatives not only drive the country towards renewable energy goals but also enhance accessibility and affordability for consumers venturing into rooftop solar adoption.

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