Debunking Myths: Solar Rooftop for Gurgaon Residents

On World Environment Day, CSE gathered environment-conscious residential welfare associations (RWAs) from Gurgaon for a meeting. The meeting was held in collaboration with Gurgaon First (GF), an initiative that mobilises the RWAs on the issues of sustainability, good-governance, women safety and empowerment. 

Despite the many benefits and government subsidies targeting the residential buildings exclusively, the adoption of SRT in the residential sector has been minimal. Most research states that lack of awareness and misinformation are the primary bottlenecks. Therefore, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has taken on a knowledge disseminator’s role. Through comprehensive research, the team has developed research to establish SRT’s economic and environmental benefits - focussed on Gurgaon

At a staggering 79 GW, India’s renewable energy story was called “unprecedented” in a recent IEA report. The sheer volume of installations, primarily in large-scale solar and wind, were due to government policies, falling costs and improving efficiencies. However, despite the favourable conditions, the solar rooftop (SRT) segment failed to take flight. Targets for 2022 hope for 40 GW worth of installations. As per MNRE estimates we currently stand at 1.8 GW; less than 5% of the target and 3 years away from the deadline. 
The surprising economic benefits combined with the obvious environmental ones have given SRT the edge in the commercial and industrial sector. The economic benefits arise from supportive facilities provided by the distribution companies. Namely, net metering and banking have reduced the payback on the system’s capital cost, reduced their power bills and lowered their bracket in the tariff slabs.

A reduced payback of 10 odd years for a plant that will be operational for another 15 years cannot be passed on. This, especially when compared to the predecessor - diesel generator sets (gensets). The relatively cheaper operation (gensets have recurring fuel costs) and maintenance costs are an added bonus. 
Gurgaon envisioned to be a solar city is an ideal candidate. Because of its high rises, its high solar insolation and unfortunately, its polluted air. The residents are offered heavy subsidies - 30% on the capital cost and a rebate of Rs. 1 per unit for every unit generated. The payback period for these conditions is a meagre 5 years, at most.

The first two sessions of the meeting ‘Debunking Myths: Solar Rooftop for Gurgaon Residents’ set the context by explaining the technology and the policy that was relevant to the participants.  This was followed by a Q&A panel that included stakeholders from the local utility (DHBVN) and the state renewable energy department (HAREDA). They were entrusted with answering all pressing questions and common queries.   

The meeting was concluded with closing remarks from Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, MoS (Independent Charge) for Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and Ministry of Planning. He addressed the crowd, lauded their enthusiasm and egged them on to do their part to combat climate change. He assured the crowd that his “clout from being elected would be used to serve the people who elected him”. He further remarked on how he himself had seen the effects of climate change on his surroundings - watching the Aravali hills and Bhoond deteriorate. And finally acknowledged that solar energy was a way for the participants to contribute and that he would do his best to facilitate it. The sentiments were echoed by Mr. Amit Khatri, Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon.



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Press Releases

Gurugram, June 5, 2019
On World Environment Day, CSE helps Gurugram chart a course to a cleaner, pollution-free, solar-powered future
गुरुग्राम, जून 5, 2019
विश्व पर्यावरण दिवस पर सीएसई और गुरुग्राम फर्स्ट ने गुरुग्राम को स्वच्छ, प्रदूषण रहित और सौर ऊर्जा के भविष्य से अवगत कराया
Gurugram, June 26, 2018
Use of Diesel Generator (DG) sets increases pollution by over 30 per cent in residential societies in Gurugram, finds CSE’s new study


DEBUNKING MYTHS: Solar Rooftop for the Residential Sector
By: Priyavrat Bhati, Advisor- Energy
DEBUNKING MYTHS: Solar Rooftop for the Residential Sector
By: Shweta Miriam Koshy, CSE
The Way Forward for SRT in Gurugram
By: Mandvi Singh
DEBUNKING MYTHS: Solar Rooftop for the Residential Sector
By: Shubhra Puri
Rooftop Solar Plant in Housing Society
By: Sandip Ghosh
Wellington Estate DLF 5
By Vineet Bagga

News Coverage | June 07, 2019
सीएसई गुड़गांव की आवासीय सोसाइटियों में सौर पैनल के इ्स्तेमाल के पक्ष में
Swachh India.ndtv | June 07, 2019
Centre For Science And Environment Pushes For Use Of Solar Rooftop In Residential Societies In Gurgaon
pv-magazine | JUNE 6, 2019
CSE helps Gurugram chart a course to a cleaner, pollution-free, solar-powered future
The Hindu Business Line | June 05, 2019
Gurugram has much scope for rooftop solar: CSE
GOING SOLAR: Action Plan To Tap Gurugram's Solar Rooftop Potential