Rooftop solar: How every inch of rooftop can be used by offices, industries to generate electricity

India is among those countries which receive sunlight in abundance, thus India is rich enough to become a solar energy production hub.

rooftop solar, solar energy, green energy, electricity
The goal for rooftop solar energy is fixed at 40GW under the National Solar Mission (NSM). (Bloomberg image)

Gyan Prakash Tiwari

An adequate and uninterrupted power supply is inevitable for almost all activities associated with SME, MSME & Large Enterprises, which creates a massive demand for reliable and affordable power. Solar energy, one of the prominent sources of green and renewable energy, can play a crucial role in meeting this soaring demand while maintaining environmental safety. Globally the potential of solar has been recognised which includes acknowledging the immense potential that remains untapped in the sector and also the necessity to promote the adoption. A target of generating 100 GW of solar energy by 2022 has been set under the renewable energy segment in India. The goal for rooftop solar energy is fixed at 40GW under the National Solar Mission (NSM). While these are highly ambitious figures, the stakeholders are supporting the policy of rapid polarisation.

Rooftop solar systems are beneficial for all, but it is especially profitable for business houses that pay a considerable amount in monthly electricity bills. The bills significantly increase the operational costs of commercial units, which can be cut by installing a robust and cost-effective rooftop solar system. They can use their under-utilised rooftops for power generation and ensure uninterrupted supply for years while contributing towards a sustainable environment. The installation of these systems is easy and requires no extra space. In fact, the systems through their savings tend to break even on their initial cost within 4~6 years.

Another factor to keep in mind is the fluctuating nature of electricity costs depending on Governments and other external agencies. There is no such uncertainty with solar energy, as one fixes the tariff cost for 25 years. These benefits associated with rooftop solar makes it extremely suitable for commercial establishments.

Large companies and industrial units spend a sizeable capital in ensuring an emergency backup system like Diesel Generators for the critical functions. These selected critical functions can be powered by hybrid or off-grid solar systems as the batteries store enough power for such undesired circumstances. Going forward as the battery technology develops and becomes more economical and viable, we could see these kind of applications only improve. Simultaneously, the maintenance cost of rooftop solar systems is negligible. A long lifespan of around 25 years is another attractive feature.

The domestic consumption of electricity in a populous country like India is significantly high especially in summers. Though the access to electricity is improving across the country, the supply is unreliable which makes people arrange alternatives to cope with the power cuts. Secondary sources like Diesel Generators are great emitters of carbon which creates environmental concerns. Why this dependency when we can have a sustainable source?

Millions of houses and buildings across the country offer vast space for the installation of rooftop solar systems and power generation. The ample amount of sunlight that falls on these rooftops can be harnessed to meet the requirements of power, sustainably. It will not only bring down the electricity costs but also lessen the burden of government and power supply units. The detrimental effects on the environment due to fuel-based electricity generation are of great concern for us when the country is bound to adhere to different norms imposed through various international treaties.

Solar systems can be extremely helpful in the accomplishment of sustainable goals as they don’t produce hazardous gases into the environment and also don’t make any noise. At a time when not only the government but also the business houses are expected to contribute to containing carbon footprint, solar energy seems the most appropriate option to generate power and preserve the environment.

As India has high ambitious goals for the next decade, clean energy sources will play a pivotal role in realizing them. In such a scenario, the adoption of solar energy becomes indispensable. Every inch of vacant space on the rooftop must be utilized to produce solar energy. India is among those countries which receive sunlight in abundance, thus India is rich enough to become a solar energy production hub.

Gyan Prakash Tiwari is Co-founder of MYSUN. Views expressed are the author’s personal. 

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First published on: 15-12-2020 at 17:32 IST