"The cost of installing solar panels should be merged to the total cost of building and deducted from maintenance cost. This would be an incentive to the builders," he noted.
He maintained unless the cost of solar panels came down further, the segment would continue to progress rather sluggishly. "We have to further consider plant load factor (PLF), since solar energy would be available only during daytime," Agarwal added.
Commenting on solar energy that can be put on grid, he said it would be feasible only when bundled with thermal energy, because standalone solar energy tariffs were much higher and still not economically feasible.
Bundled power tariff is the final tariff charged by a company by calculating the mean of thermal and solar power generation.
Standalone solar power tariff could be as high as Rs 13 per unit, while the state government wants the bundled power at levels cheaper than Rs 4.70 per unit. A standalone solar energy plant would typically require five-acre barren land and Rs 15 crore investment for every Mw compared to Rs 5 crore for thermal energy.
In UP, standalone solar energy projects are being taken up in cooperation with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, commercial banks, regional rural banks and state agencies.
Solar energy projects relate to the setting up small power plants, solar lighting systems at police stations, educational institutions, hospitals, hotels, nursing homes, among others.
Solar energy projects have been undertaken in 2,000 Ambedkar villages across 46 districts, mainly for street lighting. Besides, some telecom towers in UP are being fitted with solar panels.
Centre provides capital subsidy up to 30 per cent and credit support for these projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). Refinance institutions get funds from the government at two per cent interest, the end users get soft credit at five per cent.
Under the mission, the Centre is targetting an installed solar energy capacity of 20,000 Mw in grid connected power and 2,000 Mw in off-grid power by 2022.
In the first phase, by March 2013, the Centre is targetting 1,100 Mw and 200 Mw of grid and off-grid power capacity, respectively.
Source- Business Standard