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Rooftop solar: Still way out of reach

The finance ministry’s recent decision to levy (वसूल करना/उठाना))25% safeguard duty on solar equipment is likely to raise solar power tariffs and affect offtake. Power minister R K Singh has reportedly assured(आश्वासन) project developers that the Centre would amend(संशोधन/सुधरना) bidding(बोली लगाना) rules to allow pass through of the import duty hike(वृद्धि), but uncertainties remain. There’s a lack of clarity on GST on solar panels too. We do not need taxes and duties to jeopardise(जोखिम में डालना)solar power; bureaucratic(नौकरशाही/सत्तावाद) inertia(जड़त्व/निष्क्रियता) already doing a good job. The government’s target is to set up 100 GW of solar power capacity nationally by 2022, with 40 GW to come up on rooftops. Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI), the nodal agency in charge of the National Solar Mission, has been able to smartly bring down tariffs for solar power projects to as low as Rs 2.44 per unit. But there’s hardly (मुश्किल /कठिनाई से) any progress in the solar rooftop plan. Barely 1 GW of rooftop power capacity has come up.

The way ahead is to have institutional channel partners to rev up rooftop capacity. Experts opine that India has a solar rooftop power potential(संभावित/सशक्त) of up to 400 GW. What is missing is well-thought-through policy specifically(विशेष रूप से/खासतौर ) for rooftop capacity. It would even make sense to have a leasing plan for battery packs for rooftop solar plants, to proactively(पूरी सक्रियता) bring down the sunk costs. Also, we need to boost the demand for solar rooftop capacity. For instance(उदाहरण), the possibility of making it attractive(आकर्षक/मनमोहक) to routinely(नियमित रूप से) recharge, say, phones, computers and household inverters with solar rooftop power needs to be actively explored. It can lead to other usages, such as running ACs or even charging electric vehicles, including two-wheelers. New gadgets like solar induction cookers do need to be commercialised(वाणिज्यीकरण) to gainfully(लाभप्रद) step-up demand for solar rooftop panels. Holistic(समग्र) regulation will need to attend on the power sector, to enable all this.

Important Vocabulary

1.Bidding(बोली लगाना) 
Synonyms: behest, call, charge, demand, dictate
Antonyms: answer, question, reply

Synonyms: guaranteed, settled, sure, cinched, clear-cu
Antonyms: indefinite, uncertain, unsure, undecided, unfixed

Synonyms: apathy, laziness, paralysis, passivity, sluggishness
Antonyms: action, busyness, liveliness, activity, animation

Synonyms: hidden, likely, possible, probable, budding
Antonyms: unlikely, helpless, impossible, lacking, unpromising

Synonyms: comprehensive, integrated, aggregate, entire, full



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