Thiruvananthapuram is launching a project to turn every rooftop in the city into a solar energy-producing station. The Kerala government-run Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology (ANERT) has opened a three-day expo where people can see, learn about, and buy various solar energy systems. This is part of a central government scheme launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The solar city project aims to meet all power requirements of a city from renewable energy sources. In Thiruvananthapuram, the potential for the production of 800 MW solar energy has been identified. ANERT has identified three lakh buildings suitable for installation through the creation of a solar atlas.
Solar panel installations have already begun in 600 government buildings out of which 150 were commissioned on Tuesday. The remaining government buildings will be commissioned within one or two months. If people come forward to install solar panels on the three lakh private buildings identified, 700 MW of solar energy could be produced. A 3 KW solar system can take care of the entire power requirement for an average household. A 3 KW solar system can cost between Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh. The central government will give a subsidy of 40 per cent for the 3 KW system. So, one can install a 3 KW solar system for Rs 1.6 lakh. ANERT has also included bank stalls in the expo to avail of loans for solar system purchases.
The state government is responsible for the implementation of the project. The Kerala government is also incentivising those who opt for the renewable energy option by owning up to four per cent of the interest on bank loans to purchase solar systems. Recently, PM Modi declared Modhera, a small tourist town in Gujarat, with just a 10 MW production potential, as a complete solar town. Thiruvananthapuram is going to be the first one to implement this on such a large scale. Gandhinagar in Gujarat is also taking this up at the same time. In other districts, there is already a ‘Sourya’ scheme that is already rolled out to attract people to install solar energy panels on their house rooftops.
Anybody can also avail of the subsidy and install solar panels by registering themselves on the national portal created by the central government for the purpose.