- Infrastructure- energy.
SARAL – ‘State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index’
What to Study?
For Prelims and Mains: Meaning, significance and potential of roofto solar energy, challenges therein.
Context: SARAL – ‘State Rooftop Solar Attractiveness Index’ was recently launched.
The Index evaluates Indian states based on their attractiveness for rooftop development.
SARAL is the first of its kind index to provide a comprehensive overview of state-level measures adopted to facilitate rooftop solar deployment.
About the index:
SARAL has been designed collaboratively by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Ernst & Young (EY).
SARAL currently captures five key aspects:
- robustness of policy framework
- implementation environment
- investment climate
- consumer experience
- business ecosystem
Significance of the index:
- It encourages each state to assess the initiatives taken so far, and what it can do to improve its solar rooftop ecosystem.
- This will help states to channelize investments that can eventually help the sector grow.
- In addition, such an exercise is likely to create a more conducive environment for solar rooftop installations, encourage investment and lead to accelerated growth of the sector.
- Karnataka has been placed at the first rank.
- Telangana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have got 2nd, 3rd and 4th rank respectively.
What is rooftop solar?
Rooftop solar installations — as opposed to large-scale solar power generation plants — can be installed on the roofs of buildings. As such, they fall under two brackets: commercial and residential. This simply has to do with whether the solar panels are being installed on top of commercial buildings or residential complexes.
What are the benefits?
- Rooftop solar provides companies and residential areas the option of an alternative source of electricity to that provided by the grid.
- While the main benefit of this is to the environment, since it reduces the dependence on fossil-fuel generated electricity, solar power can also augment the grid supply in places where it is erratic.
- Rooftop solar also has the great benefit of being able to provide electricity to those areas that are not yet connected to the grid — remote locations and areas where the terrain makes it difficult to set up power stations and lay power lines.
What is the potential for rooftop solar in India?
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has pegged the market potential for rooftop solar at 124 GW. However, only 1,247 MW of capacity had been installed as of December 31, 2016. That is a little more than 3% of the target for 2022, and 1% of the potential.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has set a target of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which 100 GW solar power is to be operational by March 2022, of which 40 GW is expected to come from grid connected solar rooftops.
To achieve our rooftop solar targets, it is important to develop an ecosystem that ensures information symmetry, access to financing and clear market signals.