Once again, Gujarat has led from the front when it comes to promoting roof-top solar power generation projects. The state leads in the country with 9.75 MW roof-top solar power generation.
Gujarat accounted for 23.64 per cent of the total 41.24 MW roof-top solar power generated in the country by the end of financial year 2014-15. The other state that comes close to Gujarat is Punjab with 7.52 MW roof-top solar power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his stint as chief minister of the state, had launched the Solar Rooftop Solar PV project in 2010-11 in state capital Gandhinagar. After its success, the state government initiated the process to replicate the same model in five big cities of Vadodara, Rajkot, Mehsana, Bhavnagar and Surat. The target for solar power generation for these cities was 25 MW.
Though this target was not achieved by the state government in 2014-15, it still is the top state when it comes to roof-top solar power generation.
The roof-top solar power generation is a grid connected programme, wherein Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) Systems are installed on rooftops and connected to an electricity grid. Any individual or a private company can participate using their residential, commercial or industrial rooftop on long-term lease. They can even earn income by leasing out their rooftops to private project developers.
Even the National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI) is advocating encouragement of roof-top solar projects. "Since setting up solar parks is a costly affair and requires big investments, we think the future of solar power generation lies in roof-top projects," said Pranav Mehta, chairman, NSEFI.
The NSEFI has asked Gujarat government to revisit the state's solar policy with focus on roof-top projects.