Suryaghar Free Electricity Scheme –

The Union Cabinet has approved the scheme to install solar plants on rooftops of houses across the country. In this scheme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month under the name of PM Suryaghar Free Electricity Scheme, Rs 75,021 crore has been sanctioned for installing rooftop solar power plants. Under the scheme, a target has been set to illuminate one crore houses with solar energy and up to 300 units of free electricity will be given to consumers every month. The special thing is that under the scheme, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) will be given for installing plants up to 1,2 or 3 kilowatts. Especially this scheme has been designed keeping in mind the houses consuming less than 300 units of electricity. It targets lower and lower-middle class people in urban areas. The Center said in the statement, ‘Under this scheme, 60 percent CFA will be provided for 2 kW plant, while 40 percent CFA will be provided for additional system of 2 to 3 kW. However, the maximum limit for providing CFA will be 3 kW. As per the current price, a subsidy of Rs 30,000 will be given for 1 kW system, Rs 60,000 for 2 kW and Rs 78,000 for systems of 3 kW or more.

People wishing to install solar system can apply for subsidy on the national portal and the vendor can also be selected on this portal. According to the government statement, information related to the size of the system, calculation of profit, rating of the vendor etc. will be provided to the consumers on the national portal for installation of solar power plant, so that it will be easier for the person to take the decision. Consumers will be able to avail loan for 3 kW residential RCS system at 7 percent collateral free interest rate. 20 banks and non-banking financial institutions are linked to this national portal operated under government lender REC Limited. These banks and institutions will provide loans to consumers for rooftop solar systems. The Power Ministry recently informed that the scheme will be spread in several states through eight public enterprises led by the ministry. The Cabinet said in its decision that ‘Model Solar Village’ will be developed in every district of the country, that is, this village will become a model for adopting solar power plants on rooftops in rural areas. According to the government statement, ‘Rooftop solar will add 30 GW additional solar capacity in the residential sector. This will generate 1000 BU electricity. This will reduce emissions of 72 crore tonnes of carbon dioxide during the 25 year period of the roof top. The prevalence of rooftop solar energy is still low compared to ground-based solar energy connected to the grid. The total capacity for solar power generation in the country is 73 gigawatt (GW). The capacity of ground solar plants in this is 56.9 GW. However, the grid-connected rooftop solar capacity is only 11 GW and the off-grid capacity is only 2.75 GW. According to Power Ministry officials, rooftop solar plants are installed on 6.75 lakh houses across the country.

The main benefit of the above scheme will be to the lower middle class people of the city. Because the lower class rarely has a roof on which a solar power plant can be installed. Secondly, even in the states where state governments have provided free electricity up to 300 units, very few people will take advantage of the scheme. Overall, it can be said that this scheme will help in reducing pollution in cities and becoming self-reliant in energy.


-Irwin Khanna, Editor-in-Chief, Dainik Uttam Hindu.

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