The government has lined up almost USD 2.5 billion (about Rs 16,800 crore) for providing low cost finance to achieve the target of installing 40 GW grid-connected solar rooftop systems.
“The ministry is in negotiations with the KfW Development Bank to secure soft loans of 1 billion euro. They have already provided USD 100 million funding,” The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Secretary Upendra Tripathy told reporters here.
The World Bank has committed a loan of USD 620 million, with the Asian Development Bank and the New Development Bank pledging USD 500 million and USD 250 million, respectively, he added.
“This will enable participating commercial banks such as SBI, PNB and Canara Bank to extend loan at or near base rates,” Tripathy said.
The secretary further said in the current fiscal, MNRE is trying to arrange an investment of Rs 6,000 crore for rooftop solar projects.
“The government is committed to encourage rooftop solar projects and Power and MNRE Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate a national workshop on Roof Top Solar Power on June 7,” he said.
This workshop will have presentations and discussions on various topics including best practices, innovative projects and major policy initiatives on projects, he added.
Besides senior government officials from the centre and states, the conference will also see participation from solar power project developers, channel partners as well as international agencies such as GIZ, KfW and USAID.
The power generated from solar rooftop plants installed even today is almost at par with the commercial tariff for consumers in many states. The cost of solar power is declining, while that of electricity from fossil fuels is rising.
Today, it is possible to generate solar power from rooftop systems at about Rs 6.5 per kilo watt hour, which is cheaper than power generated from diesel gensets and also cheaper than the cost at which most discoms make power available to industries and high-end domestic consumers.
On the issue of storage of solar power generated from rooftop systems, Tripathy said the government is working on providing some kind of subsidy for such projects.
Also there are plans for installing 15 minutes of storage in two projects in Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.