As the awareness increases and electricity costs go high, solar power will be a necessity. A standard roof with flat surface and shadow free area will be in scarcity. Even today, in a typical concrete jungle, it will be a blessing, if you can find a flat roof with a shadow free area! The common obstacles are water tank, lift room, staircase structure and going far, the shadow of the taller buildings around!
Individual residents of a housing society often inquire if they can install solar power for their home. The first question arise, is will a society permit an individual flat owner to use a common terrace area?`
However, an active chairman or a secretary always considers solar power system for common area, lifts and water pumps. By installing solar power, a society can save more than 70% of electricity cost provided there is sufficient shadow free space available.
Commercial buildings are the best case study for solar power installations! Let us take a building where various offices are located. There is heavy electricity consumption by air conditioned common area. Lifts, lighting in the passages and open areas around the building, basement parking and so on. Further, the electricity tariffs are very high. An investment of Rs.1 lac in solar power installation can have a payback of less than four years! While you know that the life of the solar power plant is projected at 25 year! In case of buildings of corporates and commercial organizations, accelerated and additional depreciation is available. This will result into 30% saving in income tax. In such case the payback period can be as low as 2 years! And the cost per unit later for 23 years can be as low as 1 rupee!
Facts and figures may not be a reality as even the customers who are considering solar power installation very seriously face many challenges. There need to be a sufficient shadow free space to make the installation viable. For example, there may be an annual consumption of say 100,000 units but space available may be only for 10,000 units. In such case it makes little sense to go for solar. In case, there is a possibility to install say solar power to generate 80% of annual consumption, then there is a consideration of “high” investment. A consumer today chooses to pay may be lacs of rupees more towards power bill than to install solar power and save actually lacs of rupees! It is necessary to understand that this “high” investment will be returned in less than five years out of savings on electricity costs and the electricity can be almost free after five years. It is beyond one’s imagination what can be the cost of power after five years!
Onus goes on regulators and policy makers to recommend solar power installation mandatory for all new buildings. Offer incentives in various forms to encourage power consumers and create awareness that solar power installation not only saves money, but also is very important to save the environment for the next generation.
Further, Solar PV systems suppliers need to achieve an expertise in offering and designing most economical solution backed by best technology.
This will go a long way in achieving solar rooftop installation target of 40 gigawatt by 2022!