Greenpeace and solar consulting firm Bridge to India have teamed up to try and persuade the Delhi government to introduce policies for a rooftop solar revolution.
The campaign called “Switch on the Sun” is asking residents to pledge their readiness for solar.
A report entitled Rooftop revolution: unleashing Delhi’s solar potential has kicked off the campaign to provide information for the government, distribution companies (DISCOMS) and Delhi residents.
The campaign is aiming to persuade Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) to change regulations so renewable energy supply meets residents’ energy needs, to change opinions that urban spaces are a barrier for solar because there is less space for PV plants and to rationalise the Renewable Purchase Obligation, the mechanism by which green energy is bought and sold in India.
Greenpeace India’s senior campaigner Abhishek Pratap also said the campaign needed to ensure “projects are actually producing energy and not just used as tax evasion models”.
According to the report, energy demand in Delhi is rising 6% every year and will reach 6,000MW this summer – leading to significant power shortages.
Delhi could support 123GW of solar based on surface area, but the report says that using just 1.6% of Delhi’s land could make it a 2GW PV city by 2020.
Of this 2GW solar potential, the report said 49% could come from residential rooftops, 15% from industrial buildings, 13% from government building and 23% from public and semi-public buildings. The report argues for rooftops to be grid connected to avoid storage costs.
The campaign argues that under current policies utilities have to purchase 50,000MWh of solar – which requires 35.5MW of installed capacity. The installed capacity March 2013 was 2.5MW, leaving utilties to purchase from outside of Delhi or to pay a penalty.
The report estimates that currently 70% of Delhi’s power comes from outside Delhi and more than 50% of energy is from coal.