NEW DELHI: An international report on how energy-poor cities can be powered while containing polluting has cited Delhi’s net-metering policy for solar rooftop systems as a probable solution for providing cheap electricity. The World Resources Institute’s report, titled “Powering Cities in the Global South”, was released on Wednesday. The report also pointed out that Brazil was contemplating legislation changes to its renewable energy norms to enable a Delhi-like policy.
While highlighting the three solutions — decentralised solar photovoltaic (PV) system, clean cooking fuel and energy-efficient buildings and appliances — the system in the Indian capital was pointed out as exemplary. Net-metering was introduced in Delhi in 2014. Under this, home owners can either own a solar power system or lease their roof space to project developers. Roof owners can also pay a monthly lease rent to have a solar PV system put up by project developers. “The electricity generated from such a system is used to meet the household’s or rooftop owner’s energy needs, with the excess being fed into the grid,” the report stated.
The report also noted the Pay As You Go (PAYG) process, popular in rural parts of Africa where customers acquire solar systems for a small deposit. They then buy daily usage “credits” for 0.50 dollars, a sum that is less than the price of traditional kerosene lighting.
The report stated that underutilised rooftops in cities could be put to use under policies such as Gujarat’s “Rent a Roof” in which residents give their rooftops to private solar energy companies that pay them around Rs 3 for every unit of energy produced. There is mention also of Bengaluru’s net-metering programme in which owners of rooftop solar PV systems are paid a promotional rate every month for net excess generation flowing to the grid.