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The Energy Department will propose to the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission to make the tariff structure for rooftop grid-connected solar plants attractive in a bid to encourage more households to set them up.
The proposal will seek a change in the tariff mechanism from the present “net metering” concept, under which the solar plant owner gets paid only for the power exported by him to the grid, to the “gross metering” system where he would get paid for the entire power generated by him with some checks and balances. This follows a lukewarm response for grid-connected solar plants as only a paltry capacity of 3 MW has been achieved so far in the State.
Explaining why the rooftop grid-connected solar plants scheme has not picked up, Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. managing director, G.V. Balaram, told a stakeholders workshop of the NITI Aayog on Tuesday that presently power utilities were following the system of net metering under which “excess power” pumped into the grid by the solar plant owner after taking care of his own consumption was being paid Rs. 9.56 a unit.
But most of the residential rooftop solar plants had a capacity of only 3 kW due to space constraints. This was a repelling factor as there was a feeling among people that getting conventional power from the grid for domestic consumption was more economical than setting up a solar power plant.Hence, the Energy Department wanted to take into account the entire power generated by the rooftop grid-connected solar units, Mr. Balaram said.
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