JAIPUR: A new analysis done by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) suggests that residential societies which use diesel generator sets for power back-up can easily replace them with rooftop solar power systems and save substantially on costs.
"In all the residential societies that CSE studied and analysed, the cost of power from solar rooftop with battery back-up was found to be about half the cost of power generated by DG sets. This alone should make residential societies move away from the extremely polluting diesel generator and adopt solar rooftop to meet their power back-up needs," said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE.
The CSE study examined the feasibility of solar rooftops in residential societies across Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. CSE's research was aimed at understanding the economic considerations including financing and generation cost; architectural and roof space preferences; building by-laws; and constraints experienced by various stakeholders including customers, government agencies and distribution companies (discoms).
The study found that the cost of power generation from a DG set, including the capital cost, is Rs 27 to Rs 33 per unit compared to rooftop solar tariff of less than Rs 10 per unit.
The CSE study finds that as power outage from the grid reduces, the cost of power generation from DG sets increases and that from solar rooftops with battery storage becomes more financially attractive. "DG back-up has become increasingly redundant because of reducing power outages in cities. On an average, many cities now have less than an hour of power cut in a day. We must realise that 'full back-up' was considered a basic need by upscale societies when the outages often lasted several hours a day," said Priyavrat Bhati, programme director, energy.
Latest CommentI have roof top solar 1 KV panels with battery backup. It works fine. but in winter i get 1/4 th of power than summer.I turn it on in the morning and evening go back to grid.same time battery is full...
The study concludes that for most societies, solar rooftop would be able to meet the basic load for individual flats ('partial load' in industry parlance which covers lighting, fans and some communication and entertainment appliances) along with essential area loads. "Moving away from the DG set to solar rooftop requires a change in mindset. If power outage is less than a hour a day then the very definition of "full back-up" needs to be changed. For tens of minutes of outage, even for the high end societies "partial load back-up" should be sufficient," adds Bhushan.
CSE researchers have estimated that up to 3 giga-watt (GW) of solar rooftop can be installed on new residential societies over the next five-seven years. This segment can, therefore, be a key to reaching the government's ambitious target of 40 GW solar rooftop to be achieved by 2022.