The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for the second phase of grid-connected rooftop solar program with central financial support to the tune of ₹118.14 billion (~$1.66 billion) to achieve a cumulative capacity of 40 GW projects by the year 2022.
The central financial assistance (CFA) for the residential sector has been restructured in the phase-II of the rooftop solar program. For the rooftop systems of up to 3 kW, 40 percent of CFA will be available, whereas for rooftop systems beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW, 20 percent of CFA will be available.
In case of group housing societies or residential welfare associations, the maximum capacity eligible for the assistance is 500 kW and CFA will be limited to 20 percent for rooftop solar projects for supply of power to common facilities.
The CFA under residential category will be provided based on benchmark cost or tender cost, whichever is lower, for 4,000 MW capacity. However, central financial support will not be available for other categories such as institutional, educational, social, government, commercial, industrial, etc.
The government intends to increase the involvement of DISCOMs in achieving the 40 GW rooftop solar projects by the year 2022. Therefore, under the phase-II program, performance-based incentives will be provided to DISCOMs based on rooftop solar capacity achieved in a financial year. These incentives will enable DISCOMs to create a supportive environment for faster implementation of the rooftop solar program in their area.
The incentives to the DISCOMs will be available only for the initial capacity addition of 18,000 MW under the program.
The program is expected to cut carbon emission by 45.6 tons per year and about 9,39,000 jobs for skilled and unskilled workers.
Recently, CCEA approved the proposal for the implementation of setting up 12,000 MW of grid-connected solar PV power projects under the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Phase-ll program by government producers.
In June 2018, CCEA had approved phase three of the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar PV Application Program to provide 300,000 solar street lights across India.
Recently, Mercom reported that in total, the government has released around ₹35 billion ($505 million) in CFA for renewable energy projects across India during 2018-19 (until February 5, 2019). Approximately ₹23 billion ($327 million) was released to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Gujarat – ₹2.8 billion ($39 million), Andhra Pradesh – ₹1.3 billion ($18 million) and Telangana – ₹989 million ($14 million) were the top three CFA recipients of the year.