Over 1,000 Delhi residents have shown interest in installing solar panels on their rooftops, Greenpeace India claimed today, after a month-long campaign to create awareness about it. “After a month-long campaign to spread awareness about rooftop solar, Greenpeace India found that 1,043 residents of Delhi want to solarise their rooftops,” Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India, Pujarini Sen said in a statement. The findings comes close on the heels of the news of Delhi government schools installing solar panels and were indicators that Delhiites are opening up to the idea of going solar, the statement said. The result was an outcome of a campaign called ‘Solar Shakti’ by Greenpeace India, which kickstarted on the World Environment Day on June 5.
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During the campaign, a unique solar house on wheels, named “Solar Comet”, toured the length and breadth of the city, interacting with Delhiites (mostly resident welfare associations) and demonstrated how solar panels can run an entire household. The “Solar Comet” was a bus fitted with solar panels of 1.8 KW on the roof and furnished as a one BHK home from the inside complete with all necessary household appliances, such as a mixer, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, water cooler, and even an air conditioner.
While the bus toured Delhi, Greenpeace India’s webpage, facebook ads and missed call number added on to the pledges taking the total number to 5,368 all over India (including Delhi). “For the past one-and-a-half month, we interacted with residents of Delhi and found that they were much interested in solarising their rooftops but lack of awareness acted as an impediment. “The challenge we face is to change mindsets of people, who for several decades have gotten used to coal powered electricity,” Sen said.
She pointed out that people, especially the middle class had no options, but to use coal, now they have options. “And when they come to know that it comes with several financial benefits, they tend to open up to the idea. And that is how we can convince them. We have received requests for rooftop assessments and we will now connect the residents to the concerned vendors,” said Sen. The rooftop assessments will be completed over the coming weeks, the green body said. India has an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable energy of which 100 GW would come from solar alone by 2022.
While 60 GW is earmarked for large scale projects, the government has set aside 40 GW for rooftop solar, of which we have reached only 1.2 GW, the green body said. “The uptake of rooftop solar in metros has been dismal so far. In Delhi, the total solar potential is 2,500 MW with a residential potential of 1,250 MW. “The official target in Delhi is to reach 1,000 MW worth solar installations by 2020 and 2,000 MW by 2025. But as of December 2016, only 35.9 MW have been installed out of which, only 3 MW were residential installations in March 2016,” Greenpeace India said.