Vijayawada

Vijayawada fails to make the switch to solar power

Efforts to transform Vijayawada into a ‘Solar City’ have largely been relegated to a couple of hundred houses in the last four years.

In 2015, Vijayawada was one of 60 cities to be selected as a solar city by the Central government with an aim to meet 10% of its energy needs through solar power. However, only 286 houses in the city have secured rooftop solar panels since.

The objective of the programme was to decrease consumption of energy from non-renewable sources, thereby decreasing the carbon footprint in the atmosphere.

“The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, since 2015, had been installing solar street lights and solar power plants for government offices and had also set up a committee constituting the stakeholders of the solar city, as prescribed in the project guidelines, which only met for three times in the last four years,” said Srinivas Garlapati, manager, New & Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, the nodal agency between the Corporation and stakeholders of the project.

Too costly for comfort

While government and various private institutions have installed solar panels to promote self sustainability, many houses in the city are not able to do so due to the cost involved.

“The main reason for not installing the panels is the cost. The cost of installing a solar panel per 100 square feet is ₹50,000. Hence, it would cost close to ₹5 lakh to install solar panels in a 1,000 square feet house. However, what the residents fail to realise that consuming electricity generated by solar energy is a great return on investment and an efficient way to reduce carbon footprint in the atmosphere as well,” said Mr. Garlapati.

No takers for subsidy

J.V.N. Satyanarayana, Krishna District Manager, NREDCAP, said that even though the government is providing subsidy of 20 to 30% on the installation of the panels for domestic purposes, residents do not seem to be interested. He also said that for the economically weaker sections, AP State Power Distribution Company Limited has proposed to install the rooftop solar panels for ₹10,000. However, this too is expensive for them.

Another obstacle coming in way of this transition is the increasing shadow area in the city. “With the construction of high-rise buildings in the city, the light that the smaller buildings would receive is being blocked by the taller buildings, creating shadow areas,” said Mr. Garlapati.

“We are working towards a future where every household in the district uses solar energy to curb the rapid environmental damage taking place. Solar power is not only environmentally friendly but also cheaper than the conventional source of electricity,” said Satyanarayana.

Infogfx

(KWp - KiloWatt Power)

Details of Solar Roof Top System

Domestic

Institutions

Total

No. of Solar Roof Top Proposals received

Nos: 287; KWp: 1572.71

Nos: 131; KWp: 6908

Nos: 418; KWp: 8480.71

No. of proposals sanctioned for subsidy

Nos: 286; KWp: 1522.71

Nos: 131; KWp: 6908

Nos: 417; KWp: 8430.71

No. of Solar Roof Top Systems Installed

Nos: 286; KWp: 1522.71

Nos: 115; KWp: 6506

Nos: 401; KWp: 8028.71

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 10:37:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/vijayawada-fails-to-make-the-switch-to-solar-power/article28714727.ece

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