Cabinet OKs Solar Scheme To Give 1 Crore Families 300 Units Of Free Power A Month – NDTV

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Under the scheme, financial assistance will also be provided for residential rooftop solar installations.

Continuing its push for renewable energy, the government has approved a scheme providing assistance of up to Rs 78,000 to 1 crore families to set up rooftop solar systems, which will enable them to get free electricity up to 300 units per month. 

Addressing a press briefing, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday that the Union Cabinet has approved the PM Surya Ghar: Muft Bijli Yojana. The scheme, which will have an outlay of Rs 75,021 crore, had been launched by PM Narendra Modi on February 13.

The minister said the decision will not only help families and give a boost to domestic manufacturing of solar energy components, but also provide direct employment to 17 lakh people. 

Under the scheme, central financial assistance (CFA) will be provided for residential rooftop solar installations. An official release said assistance of 60% of system cost will be given for 2 kilowatt (kW) systems and 40% of the additional cost will be given for systems which have a capacity of between 2 and 3 kilowatt. The CFA will be capped at 3 kW. 

“At current benchmark prices, this will mean Rs 30,000 subsidy for 1 kW system, Rs 60,000 for 2 kW systems and Rs 78,000 for 3 kW systems or higher,” the release said. 

Benefits For Consumers

The government said households will be able to save on their electricity bills and earn additional income through the sale of surplus power to discoms. A 3 kW system, it said, will be able to generate more than 300 units a month on an average for a household.

“Of the approximate cost of Rs 1.45 lakh for a (rooftop) 3 kW plant, Rs 78,000 will be given by the Centre as a subsidy. For the remaining sum, a low-interest loan can also be taken from banks. The consumer will save on electricity, because he will get 300 units free. Additional units can be sold to discoms through net metering,” Mr Thakur said. 

“Assuming a consumer spent Rs 1,875 per month; if Rs 610 is the EMI, he will save Rs 1,265 a month because he won’t have to pay the (electricity) bill. This will mean savings of Rs 15,000 a month for 1 crore families,” the minister added.

Families can apply for subsidy through the National Portal and also select a suitable vendor for installing the rooftop solar systems. The release said the National Portal will assist the households in their decision-making process by providing relevant information such as appropriate system sizes, benefits calculator and vendor rating.

To install the systems, families will be able to access collateral-free low-interest loan products of around 7% (at present) for installation of systems of up to 3 kW.

Reducing Emissions

The release said the scheme will lead to the addition of 30 gigawatt of solar capacity through residential rooftop systems, resulting in a reduction of 720 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the 25-year lifetime of the systems.

“It is estimated that the scheme will create around 17 lakh direct jobs in manufacturing, logistics, supply chain, sales, installation, operations and maintenance, and other services,” it stated.

PM Modi had first mentioned the scheme in January, after the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. 

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