Fall in tariffs hit rooftop solar panel installations


Bangalore, 21 September, 2017: The number of people opting for rooftop solar panels in 2017 has fallen by 73 per cent. The BESCOM website shows 395 rooftop solar installations in the year 2016 – 17, but so far only 102 installations have been made till August 2017.

The Solar Policy 2014 – 2021 of the government of Karnataka has a target of 2,400MW (capacity) of installed rooftop solar panels in Karnataka by 2021. However, the government has achieved 59.08MW of installed capacity so far.

“There is definitely a fall in the number of people opting for solar panels largely due to the policy shift the government implemented last year. There is a long process involved in getting rooftop solar panels installed, says Mr. Pratim, technical expert at SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore that provides solar energy solutions and services.

Even if the pace picks up, it is unlikely that the target of 2,400MW will be achieved by 2021, he said. For that, the government will have to maintain the grid infrastructure and the distribution lines to ensure the grid is not destabilised during peak hours he added

Mr. Santosh, manager at ECOSOCH, Bangalore that sells solar panel equipments, said, “Industry was at a standstill for around six months because of policy change in 2016. Due to recent fall in tariffs from Rs 9.56 to Rs 7.08 customers are confused.”

Mr. Gopi, resident of Indiranagar, said, “I am looking for batter based solution. I am not very enthusiastic for On-Grid solar panel installation as then I would have to rely on BESCOM grid. So if there are frequent power cuts, solar panel would not work out for me. Having my own solar panel and battery would give me more flexibility.”