Takeaways from the Solar Summit: Day 1

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The solar summit held in Gurgaon was organized by a real estate company named Shobh Group currently showing interest in ‘Green Buildings’, in collaboration with MNRE.

The much awaited event which was getting covered in the newspaper days ahead of it being held took place on 15th July, 2015 at the Epicenter in Gurgaon (a solar city). As we all know that the government these days is more enthusiastic about getting things done than the private sector and the public at large. This observation was reinforced again today. The panelists included representatives from SECI (Mr. Rakesh Kumar), MNRE (Mr. A.K Tripathi) and NISE (Mr. O.S Shastri who directly addressed the end customers about going solar.

There was a discussion on the net-metering mechanism in Haryana and how consumers need to take the first step to go ahead and submit net-metering applications to ensure that their solar connection can be net-metered. Mr. A.K Tripathi empowered the residents attending the conference not to get deterred by continued roadblocks placed by DHBVN (Haryana’s utility company) in delaying the uptake of grid-connected solar. There was also talk on roping in the Ministry of Urban Development to encourage the uptake of solar energy.

Mr. Shastri gave some insights on how it should be installed and how its performance varies between states because of parameters such as temperature, wind speed, irradiation etc. An industry owner who wants to install solar himself did a great job in convincing the end customers why it’s important to go solar now and how a solar revolution (just like the mobile revolution) is impending. He also discussed the various financing options available to everyone (PPA, CAPEX, Lease to own) for installing solar. It was highly impressive to see customers of EPCs take the onus on themselves to make other rooftop owners understand the importance of solar.

The exhibition area was extremely empty with only a handful of exhibitors exhibiting however, extremely enthusiastic end customers. On networking with end customers, I was surprised to see people coming to attend the conference all the way from Faridabad, Sirsa apart from Gurgaon. A lot of them were interested in getting solar on their rooftops and balconies. Although a small conference, it had an air of eagerness to know more about solar and go solar.

The next Solar Summit is expected to happen at a larger scale with more companies exhibiting and a bigger audience being addressed. The CEO of Shobh confirmed to me personally that the second edition will take place in September 2015 at Pragati Maidan. We hope for more participation and more takeaways.

Tanya Batra

Tanya keeps a close track of policy updates in the field of Rooftop Solar in India and likes to write blogs on its application for the end customer