Gadkari urges power minister to reconsider restriction on solar rooftop projects

Union micro, small and medium industries minister Nitin Gadkari has urged power minister R K Singh to reconsider a recent controversial decision to restrict net metering in solar rooftop projects.

The power ministry had recently issued a gazette notification directing states to henceforth allow net metering only for solar rooftop projects with capacity lower than 10 KW. Those with higher capacity needs to shift to gross metering.

With most solar rooftop installations in the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment being above 10 KW, developers had strongly protested the step.

Net metering allows grid-connect solar rooftop plant owners to supply and receive power from distribution companies (discoms) through the same metre and pay only for extra units consumed. Under gross metering, power bought and sold are metred differently.

Discoms in many states have been lobbying against net metering, arguing that the system robs them of legitimate revenue. This is because the tariff discoms pay while buying power from developers is markedly lower than the tariff at which they sell power to consumers.

In a letter to Singh dated February 15, Gadkari noted that while more and more micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were installing solar rooftop projects, thereby contributing to the share of clean energy in the grid, the notification might well discourage them.

ET Energy World
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