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Web-based tool for assessing potential of rooftop solar power

Posted on Mar 27 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, March 27 : Rooftop solar devices must be promoted in an accelerated manner to reduce dependent on fossil fuels and ensure energy security in India, experts said.

Experts highlighted the need for promoting rooftop solar system at a conference here recently. The event was focused on promoting rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system in India.

The highlight of the conference was launch of a web-based tool that will aid estimation of roof top solar potential for city of Chandigarh.

The tool is first of its kind in India and has to potential to be replicated for all cities of India in a cost effective manner.

The tool has been developed by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation.

The tool will help establish and assess viability of business models and policy mechanisms towards realisation of the assessed solar power potential through site specific project deployment efforts.

Exports on the occasion emphasised on the need for developing a conducive environment for rooftop PV policy in India and requisite supporting mechanisms for accelerated deployment of solar devices.

Governor of Punjab Shivraj Patil delivered the inaugural address at the conference attended by the delegates and officials from different government departments and ministries including new and renewal energy, power, environment and telecom.

Chief of programmes at Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation Chinmaya Acharya said the costs of solar products have come down over the years, and so, rooftop solar devices must be promoted in an accelerated manner.

Acharya highlighted the need for bringing "Solar Revolution" in India, saying it would ensure energy security in the country which is hugely dependent on imported oil to meet demands.

"The Green Revolution brought food security to India, while the White Revolution made India the largest producer of milk in the world. The time has come for a solar revolution in the energy sector as there is wide recognition about the energy security challenge in India," he said.

Rooftop solar segment while being a key potential source of decentralised energy option, remains in a nascent stage of development in India due to multiple reasons.

Barriers to tap the huge latent potential of rooftop solar PV include high first cost of installation for consumers, lack of financing by banks, lack of public awareness, deficient supply chain and slow evolving state policies.

Experts called for addressing these issues and appreciated the web based tool as a first step in addressing some of these barriers.

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